September 26, 2013
SÉGOLENE ROYAL, PRESIDENT OF THE POITOU-CHARENTES REGIONAL COUNCIL, AND FORMER MINISTER OF FRANCE, ADDRESSES GUESTS AND MEMBERS OF FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION DURING A RECEPTION AT THE FRENCH CONSULATE IN NEW YORK ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2013.
FRIENDS OF HERMIONE-LAFAYETTE IN AMERICA ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT MOËT-HENNESSY USA, IMPORTER OF MOËT & CHANDON CHAMPAGNE, HAS SIGNED UP AS A GRAND BENEFACTOR OF THE VOYAGE.
On September 25, 2013, the French Consulate in New York welcomed more than 500 U.S. and French business leaders, representatives of government and cultural organizations, to kick off the launch of the Hermione – Lafayette Voyage 2015 to the USA, under the auspices of a new non-profit U.S. organization, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, which will organize the American welcome of the Hermione frigate from Yorktown to Boston.
L’Hermione – a faithful reconstruction of the frigate in which Lafayette sailed to the Americas in 1780, bringing news of French support and troops – is ready to cross the Atlantic again, in 2015, where it will make historic stops along the Eastern Seaboard. Its original voyage represented the pivotal turning point in the American War of Independence.
In her welcoming remarks, special guest Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council, and former Minister of France, described the 16 year construction project, as “Lafayette’s Frigate of Freedom being brought back to life.” Bernard Grasset, the Mayor of Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, where the Hermione resides and now is readying for sea trials, was also in attendance. He hailed Voyage 2015 as an “exciting new chapter in US-French relations.”
At the meeting, Miles Young, Worldwide Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather, and President, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, announced that Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, has accepted the role of Chairman for the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette.
Mr. Young, said: “We are thrilled to have Dr. Kissinger’s advice and leadership. Nothing testifies more strongly that this is much more than the voyage of a ship, but that it is also about the spirit of democracy. Lafayette epitomized that. As an American General at the age of 19, and with the belief that anything was possible, Lafayette speaks to us down the generations. Voyage 2015 will celebrate that spirit, and its particular relevance to American and French young people today.”
Friends of Hermione-Lafayette also announced that Moët-Hennessy has signed up as a Grand Benefactor of the 2015 voyage.