2017 BASTILLE DAY JULY 14th

À tous mes amis français lors de la fête nationale de France. Avec l’aide de la France, l’Amérique n’aurait jamais gagné son indépendance.

Yes, that’s right, without the help of France, America would never have won its independence. For this and the fact that my 4th and 5th great-grandfathers fought together with French officers in the American Revolution, I salute France and thank her for her support in our time of need.

Ironically, the French officers that fought with the Continental Army happened to be from the French Aristocracy and became persona non grata during the French Revolution. As a result, many returned to America and settled in the Ohio Territory.

Those officers who fought in the American Revolution established the Society of the Cincinnati after which Cincinnati Ohio was named. I am honored to be a member of the Society of the Cincinnati as both my 4th and 5th great-grandfathers were officers in the Continental Army. Through membership in The Society, I have been privileged to meet a number of members of the French Society and share in our common bond.

The Society of the Cincinnati was founded by officers at the Continental Army encampment at Newburgh, New York, in May 1783. The organization took its name from the ancient Roman hero Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, an embodiment of civic virtue. Its founding document, the Institution, outlined the aims of the new organization: to perpetuate the memory of the War for Independence, maintain the fraternal bonds between the officers, promote the ideals of the Revolution, support members and their families in need, distinguish its members as men of honor, and advocate for the compensation promised to the officers by Congress. Constituent societies were organized in each of the original thirteen states and in France.

L’objet de la Société est de perpétuer le souvenir des circonstances qui ont abouti à l’indépendance des Etats-Unis et de la fraternité d’armes qui unit officiers américains et français au cours des combats qu’ils menèrent ensemble.

En donnant le nom de Cincinnati à leur société, les fondateurs ont voulu s’inspirer de l’exemple de Cincinnatus, vertueux citoyen romain qui quitta sa charrue pour servir sa patrie et, après avoir conduit à la victoire les armées de la République, refusant toute récompense, retourna cultiver sa terre. Les Cincinnati veulent promouvoir les valeurs de liberté, d’initiative, de dévouement au bien commun et de responsabilité qui ont fait la réussite des Etats-Unis. Ils s’attachent également à maintenir les liens privilégiés établis entre les deux pays à l’occasion de la guerre d’Amérique et prolongés durant les deux guerres mondiales.

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