Sometimes within the most profound friendships, those with long histories, there are blips of disagreement, maybe even disappointment in the relationships, but for most of us there is simply too much invested in the good, solid foundation on which they were built and grew through the years that we never want to discard something so precious.
That’s how I think we Americans and the French should think of our friendship. Yes, the French can be unbelievably annoying, stubborn and intractable, but then again, so can we from the point-of-view of the French. Perhaps there is a tad bit of arrogance on both sides of the Atlantic?
But then what?
Maybe disagreements and amicable diplomacy make our relationship even stronger.
On this July 4th weekend, let’s remember Marquis de Lafayette who, at 23-years-old, commissioned a frigate and convinced Louis XVI to participate in the American colonists war against the British with both men and funds. With a renewed belief in the cause, Lafayette sailed off to North America to help our fledgling country win independence.
An orphan at a young age, French historians say his relationship with George Washington became like that of father and son.
We saw on the French news last night the precise replica of his ship, Hermoine, in the New York harbour for the July 4th celebrations. It took 17 years to build.
If you’re as fascinated by the story as I am, please click here.
Friends of ours are descendants of Lafayette, and their mini-chateau once belonged to him. It is filled with fascinating memorabilia from America’s founding fathers.
Why would we let disagreements, large or small, tarnish our deep Franco-American friendship?