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FAQs –
Question: What is the Hermione?
Answer: She’s a perfect replica of a French 18th century tall-ships frigate. In her original incarnation, she was a sleek three-mast ship that carried Major General Lafayette to America in 1780, a voyage that directly culminated in the American-French victory at Yorktown in 1781.

Q: What is the importance, today, of building this perfect replica of the original Hermione and having her sail to the United States?
A: The Hermione’s construction not only celebrates the artisanal craftsmanship of the entire Poitou-Charentes region in western France, but her voyage is also meant to pay tribute to the inspiring courage and moral example of a man known as the ‘Hero of Two Worlds”, Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roche-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. What’s more, the French-American partnership in making this transatlantic project a reality reaffirms the long friendship between France and the United States.

Q: What does the President of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., have to say about the Hermione Voyage 2015?
A: Miles Young, President of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., and Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy & Mather, says: “The Hermione Voyage 2015 celebrates the indomitable spirit of the Marquis de Lafayette, teen hero of the American Revolution and French Founding Father of the United States. It also returns this historic tall ship to 12 iconic ports of the War of Independence, in one of the most remarkable and authentic reconstructions in the world. This ambitious project brings history alive, while exemplifying Lafayette’s family motto, ‘Why Not?’”

Q: Will all the Hermione events be popular in the U.S.?
A: The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. anticipates great interest and public participation, not only at the 12 U.S. ports of call where the Hermione, ‘the Frigate of Freedom’, will dock, but also at the many museums that are presenting Hermione/Lafayette-themed exhibitions as well as dozens of cultural, musical and culinary celebrations in other cities where she is not at port.
For example, although the Hermione arrives in New York City on July 1, on July 4, we expect literally thousands of shoreline spectators to watch the People’s Parade of Ships in New York Harbor in which the Hermione will sail up and down the Hudson River, accompanied by hundreds of sail boats, motor boats and a contingent from New York City official harbor ships.

Q: It has been reported that the American side has given a lot of money for building the replica. What is the level of support to date?
A: In a story appearing in Smithsonian Magazine, April 2015 issue, it reports, "The connection with Lafayette has brought in U.S. donors under the auspices of the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, a nonprofit that has helped to raise roughly one-quarter the $4.5 million it is costing to send the replicated Hermione from Rochefort voyaging to America and back."
See Smithsonian Magazine
Our group also continues to both receive generous contributions from other non-profit groups, the followers and supporters of the Hermione Voyage 2015 to America, as well as from our Corporate Partners, most notably Moët Hennessy, our Grand Benefactor of the Voyage. Moët Hennessy is celebrating its 250th Anniversary this year, and its Cognac is believed to have been loaded on to the original Hermione.
To donate to Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. and support the U.S. voyage, please visit our donation page.

Q: Is Lafayette still remembered in the U.S.A. and how and why? Do students at school still learn about him?
A: As is known there are dozens of towns and cities named after the Marquis, with many streets, schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. also named after Lafayette. Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, is only one obvious example. While American historians believe Lafayette was instrumental, in so many ways, in winning our independence, it must be acknowledged not enough American citizens fully appreciate him and know about his life, especially the fact he returned to the United States in 1824-1825, where he was feted at every stop during his triumphal return tour. Our group on its own-- and also in collaboration with teachers, professors and middle- and high schools--has a number of exciting history outreach and educational programs that will extend years after the Hermione returns to Rochefort. See our EDUCATION tab on our website: http://www.hermione2015.com/education.html A central part of our group's educational mission is to create a valuable legacy for Americans, young and old, in which we offer many ways to learn about the man, his values and his belief in liberty, democracy and the enduring freedoms our country enjoys thanks to him, French supporters, then and now, and from the Republic of France. We believe Lafayette's motto, Cur Non, which means "Why Not", has special resonance with young people, and not just in the U.S., but globally. His motto reflects his strong adventurous spirit that anyone can relate to, no matter how old they are.

Q: Do you think that people in America are still interested in this very old history? Is it important for an American to remember this?
A: We are dedicated to making the history, achievements and life of Lafayette, come alive. One exciting example that we are currently working on for younger people is the "Tides of Revolution: The Hermione Game", which is a web-based exploration of the background of the events leading to the climax of the American Revolution: the surrender of the British army under Cornwallis at Yorktown. For more information, please visit the Hermione's game page
We believe a knowledge of American history is vital, and thanks to all the artisanal crafts and woodworking masters involved in recreating the Hermione, this history is alive today in Poitou-Charentes. It took 17 years to handcraft the Hermione; the team had to master many talents, through apprenticeship, and relearn old-world techniques to build an authentic, full-scale replica of the original ship.
When Americans see the ship themselves, they can only marvel at this achievement, and we are confident it will inspire many to learn more, much more, about American history.

Q: Do you know if President Obama will attend a specific event, when and where, and/or are you hopeful that he will come?
A: At this time, we have no knowledge of President Obama attending a specific event, but stay tuned.
On April 18, 2015, the day of Hermione’s departure from France to the U.S., President Obama addressed a note to President François Hollande and the French nation: “I am honored to join in commemorating the journey of the Hermione, and in celebrating the enduring bonds of friendship and solidarity that bind our nations together. Bon Voyage.”
For a full text of President Obama’s Message, please visit Embassy of France
On the same day, it was widely reported that French President François Hollande came aboard the Hermione in La Rochelle, France, as she readied her voyage to America. The U.K. Independent reported on April 19, 2015, “Before its departure, President François Hollande boarded the ship and met some of the crew. He said the vessel was the “best answer” France had for those who thought it “futile to dream”.”
We can also report Ambassador of France to the U.S., His Excellency Gérard Araud, the two U.S. Senators from Virginia and many other distinguished guests from France and Virginia, will be on hand June 5, in Yorktown, Virginia, to formally welcome Hermione's arrival, its first port of call in the U.S. The public will also have the chance, in Yorktown and every port, to visit on board free or for a nominal cost, , but they must check with local authorities at each port about times, etc.

Q: Do you know if the cities named "Lafayette" will hold specific events? Are they used to hold regular events to celebrate the Marquis, by the way?
A: Yes, some are, but this must be confirmed with each city.
Visit Lafayette Society
Visit Friends of Lafayette

Q: For an American, is France still the country of Lafayette, art de vivre and cheese or just art de vivre and cheese as Lafayette has been forgotten - except for some statues and city names?
A: It all depends on whom you ask in the United States of America.
Without making a sweeping generalization, it is difficult to know. There are millions of American history aficionados, and many of them are fascinated by so-called military re-enactments of famous battles, not only those that date from the American Revolution, but also from our Civil War.
Then too, we have millions of people who love all things nautical, and the arrival of the Hermione has captured the imagination of sailors, ship history buffs and boat builders on the East Coast, the Gulf Coast and the West Coast.
So, beyond France's well-earned reputation for art de vivre, arts de la table, her regional cheeses, including those from Poitou-Charentes, and her fine wines and spirits, many Americans do know about Lafayette.
And we, at Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., are all about spreading the word about the friendship between our two republics, about Lafayette, and about the French Frigate of Freedom, the Hermione.

Q: Where is Hermione coming from?
A: From Rochefort, in Poitou-Charentes. The Regional Government of Poitou-Charentes has been a huge sponsor of the project – which has the strong personal support of the Region’s former President, Mme. Ségolène Royal, who currently serves as French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
To make a donation to support Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc., please visit our donation page