234th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown
ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure and an honor for me to be part of the Yorktown day events.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we know, today October 19 is a very special day, as we celebrate once again the friendship between our two peoples and our two countries. in 1781, at this very same hour, 2:00 Pm, the Americans and the French entered the british positions, a symbol of their victory.
Believe me, We, the French, know that in the darkest hours of our history, you, the American people, were there by our side. we have no right to forget this and we will never forget the sacrifice of the American Heroes.
On that day of battle, be it in 1781 or during WW1 or WW2, a battle in which so many of them lost their lives, they expressed only one thing: their faith, their faith in the future and in the triumph of their values. The important thing was for the people of our two nations to share a common future, a future in which freedom and justice would reign.
The main legacy of Yorktown, like that of the barbarity of the WWI years and the beaches of 1944, are the battlefields that have become places of remembrance.
But commemorations are not intended to reopen old wounds. They are a reminder of the hardships experienced by people, they are the lessons of history, they are calls for unity, solidarity and mobilization in the face of other issues, other challenges, other threats, other common objectives.
To commemorate is to remember. To ensure that the past is not just a matter of nostalgia but a lesson that helps us forge our destiny.
In celebrating the courage of these soldiers, we recognize the heroism found in looking beyond oneself and one’s own interests for the love of one’s country and sister countries.
The message of Yorktown, like that of every act of liberation, every struggle to achieve freedom, is that men and women always determine their own future.
The future for which they have sacrificed is our present today. Freedom, brotherhood and democracy are the most noble causes, the ones to which we must devote all our strength.
Ladies and gentlemen,
All these anonymous soldiers who lay at rest in these grounds and to whom we pay tribute this year again, sleep reunited for all eternity alongside all heroes who sacrificed their young lives for a just cause, on the beaches of my homeland, in my country; we must seize every opportunity to pay homage to them.
Vivent les Etats-Unis d’Amérique,
Vive la France.