On the Occasion of France's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 10, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the citizens of France as you celebrate Bastille Day on July 14.

With the very welcome visit of the rebuilt frigate Hermione to ports of call along our eastern seaboard, we are reminded of the enduring and unbreakable alliance between our nations. The original vessel first crossed the Atlantic 235 years ago, carrying General Lafayette and a French commitment to reinforce American troops during the Revolutionary War. This support proved crucial to our struggle for independence and aided patriotic forces in the Siege of Yorktown and the Battle of Chesapeake Bay. Our joint victory at Yorktown stands as a testament to the democratic solidarity and living friendship that exists between the French and American peoples.

This year we also commemorated the 70th anniversary of VE Day, marking the triumph of the Allied Forces and the end of World War II in Europe. I had the privilege of laying a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe alongside President Hollande, Foreign Minister Fabius, and other leaders. There is no glory in war, but there is immeasurable honor in the actions of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our struggle against Nazism. For the sake of those fallen heroes, we must rededicate ourselves to the struggle for freedom, human rights, shared prosperity, and peace around the world.

In the spirit of enduring cooperation, the people of the United States send warmest wishes to the citizens of France on your national day.