Leg 4: Maryland and Virginia
by Ralph Nelson (Kirkwood Chapter, Delaware Society SAR)
I did not get photos of Lee’s trip along the MD-VA part of the route and participation in the re-enactor campout at Yorktown on Oct 16 and 17.
On Oct 18 I participated in the southern regional meeting of the W3R in Richmond VA, then went on to Yorktown for the commemoration dinner. We enjoyed the company of about 20 members and family from the France Societies of the SAR and DAR.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
The U.S. Army’s Old Guard provides the honor guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On this day they led the 223rd anniversary parade in Revolutionary War uniform, bearing the modern flags of the U.S and France.
Next came a HumVee bearing Col. Ronnie T. Ellis (U.S. Army Transportation Center at Fort Eustis — near Yorktown) and Jacques de Trentinian (the keynote speaker). Trentinian — recently named a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur — Chevalier Trentinian spoke about the battles between England and France in 1778-1783 outside of the U.S. theater of war. These were vital to ending the war on favorable terms to the U.S., but are often overlooked in U.S. treatments of the American Revolution.
After the parade the U.S. and French members of the SAR had lunch together and posed for the photo below. Our ancestors fought side-by-side in 1778-1783 to secure freedom and independence for the U.S. Later France had its own, more violent, revolution — as noted in the French national anthem.
For over 200 years the citizens of the U.S. and France have had similar concerns to defend self-governance and to protect individual rights, and in that respect we are hard to tell apart.