Former Rochefort Mayor Jean-Louis Frot Given Standing Ovation for Initiating the Hermione Project in 1994 July 13, 2015
Jean-Louis Frot, former Mayor of Rochefort, is the man responsible for the earliest actions that set a course for the construction of Hermione replica, which is docked on Rowe’s Wharf in Boston on July 11, 2015. Frot received a standing ovation at the formal ceremonies welcoming the Captain and crew of the frigate that carried Lafayette to Boston in 1780. Photo Credit: David Lincoln Ross for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. – All rights reserved
Leading the colorful parade from Faneuil Hall to Rowe’s Wharf in Boston, costumed re-enactors play their fifes with verve to welcome Hermione on July 11, 2015.Photo Credit: David Lincoln Ross for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. – All rights reserved
Miles Young, President of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., delivering remarks about the historic return voyage of the Hermione to Boston, 235 years after the arrival of the original Hermione in 1780.Photo Credit: David Lincoln Ross for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. – All rights reserved
Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy retired, welcoming the Captain and crew of the Hermione in Boston on July 11, 2015. Photo Credit: David Lincoln Ross for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. – All rights reserved
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh thanking City of Boston officials and Boston Harbor member for making possible the visit of the Hermione to Rowe’s Wharf on July 11, 2015. Photo Credit: David Lincoln Ross for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. – All rights reserved
With a background of flags, French Consul General Fabien Fieschi congratulates the City of Boston, its Mayor and hundreds of spectators with a grand ‘Merci’ for the warm welcome given to the return of the Hermione on July 11, 2015. Photo Credit: David Lincoln Ross for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. – All rights reserved
On July 11, 2015, the Hermione was welcomed by thousands of Bostonians and visiting tourists on her triumphant arrival at historic Rowe’s Wharf overlooking Boston Bay. In perfect summer weather, French and American dignitaries, diplomats, Naval Officers from both countries, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, numerous city and state representatives and enthusiastic crowds all cheered and clapped during formal welcoming ceremonies under the six-story arch next to the Boston Harbor Hotel. With church bells pealing, flags of France and the United States waving, and re-enactors wearing both French and American period military uniforms (who marched from famed Faneuil Hall), Hermione Captain Yann Cariou and Bruno Gravillier, Hermione’s Superintendent, were escorted to the dais by bagpipers Bagad Lann Bihoue to loud applause and huzzahs befitting the historic return of the ship that carried Major General Lafayette to Boston in 1780.
Miles Young, President of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., said, “On this great day, the city of Boston and everyone involved in this project who made it possible is to be thanked for their warm and enthusiastic welcome to the Captain and crew of the Hermione. Noting the important news that Lafayette carried on the Hermione in 1780—
That Louis XVI would commit men, arms, and ships to win America’s independence—Young said the transatlantic journey is symbolic of the longstanding friendship and mutual support between these two great democracies.”
After the French and U.S. national anthems were performed by the U.S. Coast Guard Band, Young introduced Admiral James Stavridis, retired United States Navy, and Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts; Stavridis is the Honorary Chairman of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette In America in Massachusetts. Young thanked the Admiral for his support and Stavridis spoke and reflected on past and current strong cooperation between the two countries, noting, as a former NATO Commander, he could report that the rapport among the French and American naval forces has never been closer than it is at present.
Next, the USS Constitution Color Guard presented colors and flags of the two nations. Young then introduced Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who acknowledged the presence of his college French literature professor and proceeded to say how proud he was of the City of Boston’s warm welcome to the French and the Hermione on this historic occasion. French Consul General of Boston Fabien Fieschi seconded the Mayor’s remarks, emphasizing the shared and enduring values of democracy and freedom exemplified by Lafayette throughout his life.
Representing the Poitou-Charentes region, home of the city of Rochefort and where the original Hermione and its replica were build, both M. Jean-Francois Macaire, President of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council and Vice President Mme. Madeleine Ngombé took time to pay tribute to Boston and the State of Massachusetts for their sincere and exciting welcome, and encouraged the crowd to come and visit France and see where the project all started in Rochefort.
Miles Young next introduced Hervé Blanché, Mayor of Rochefort, who immediately asked former Rochefort Mayor Jean-Louis Frot to stand and enjoy the acclaim of the entire audience and spectators for his instrumental role in initiating the revival of Rochefort and leading the effort early on to build a full-scale replica of the original Hermione beginning in 1994. Frot waved and acknowledged a standing ovation. Then Mayor Blanché also asked both Captain Cariou and Superintendent Gravillier to stand and receive applause and thanks.
Miles Young returned to the dais to thank all the Harbor and City of Boston officials and volunteers who made the Hermione visit possible as well as Giselle Sterling, Commissioner of Veterans’ Affairs, City of Boston. He also singled out and thanked Francois Bardonnet, who led very successful fundraising efforts in Boston for Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc.
Admiral Stavridis closed the ceremonies thanking all the dignitaries and encouraged the public to visit the Hermione, open to tours on a first-come, first-served basis.