May 5, 2015
Miles Young, President, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., addresses the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, on April 28, 2015. Photo: Courtesy of the Naval War College.
Invited to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, Miles Young, President, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., gave a talk at the college’s Naval Heritage Forum about the Hermione Voyage 2015 Project to a packed audience on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Miles discussed the 18th century historical background behind the construction of the French frigate, Hermione, which in 1781 brought Major General Lafayette to America with news for General Washington of France’s aid in soldiers, sailors, arms and financial support in our fight for independence.
Miles was welcomed by Rear Admiral P. Gardner Howe III, President of the Naval War College and John Hattendorf, Director of the Naval War College Museum. As he put it, “When you see the Hermione, you will be seeing an 18th century frigate back to life. It will symbolize and rekindle the ties between France and the United States.” He showed a map of the defenses of Newport, drawn by an officer of the original Hermione.
The American context was set by Professor John Hattendorf, Director of the Naval War College Museum. Also presenting at the Forum were leaders of the Oliver Hazard Perry project, a “new” Tall Ship for Rhode Island.
Rear Admiral P. Gardner Howe III summed up the evening with some comments about the importance of naval heritage. “The facts are immutable. They are in our history books,” Howe said. “But our sense of heritage at times … may be very strong and at times be very weak. (These ships) take our heritage and bring it to life.”
The evening marked the countdown to Hermione’s arrival in Newport on July 8th, for what promises to be a very warm welcome from the town where Lafayette, Rochambeau and the Hermione all were present during the war of Independence.
For more information about the Hermione’s itinerary, including a stop in Newport on July 8-9, 2015, please visit: http://www.hermione2015.com/history.html#map