Lafayette, Nous Sommes Ici!

File:Pershing at Lafayette Tomb.jpg

Gen. Pershing at Lafayette’s Tomb. Wikipedia image.

On this Fourth of July a hundred years ago, 1917, American troops had just arrived in France, and they used the occasion of the anniversary of American independence to march through Paris.

Col. Charles E. Stanton made a speech at the grave of Marquis de La Fayette at which he famously announced:

America has joined forces with the Allied Powers, and what we have of blood and treasure are yours. Therefore it is that with loving pride we drape the colors in tribute of respect to this citizen of your great republic. And here and now, in the presence of the illustrious dead, we pledge our hearts and our honor in carrying this war to a successful issue. Lafayette, we are here.

General John Pershing was present, and the quote is often mis-attributed to him. But it was Stanton who spoke these words.

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