New York Welcomes Hermione-Lafayette
Voyage 2015 to the USA at French Consulate
Reception on September 25, 2013

Sept. 25, 2013
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.  Its original voyage represented the pivotal turning point in the American War of Independence. A meeting in the French Consulate in New York will be attended by both U.S. and French business leaders, and representatives of government and cultural organizations tonight.

Mme Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council, and Minister of France, has described the 16-year construction project, as "Lafayette's Frigate of Freedom being brought back to life." M. Bernard Grasset, the Mayor of Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, where the Hermione now is readying for sea trials, will also be in attendance.  He hails Voyage 2015 as an "exciting new chapter in US-French relations."

At the meeting, the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette, the U.S. organization which will organize the American welcome, will announce that Dr. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, has accepted the role of Chairman for the Friends of Hermione-Lafayette.

President of the Friends, Mr. Miles Young, who is the Worldwide Chairman & CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, 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, he speaks to us down the generations.  Voyage 2015 will celebrate that spirit, and its particular relevance to American and French young people today."

The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette announced that the frigate will leave Rochefort in mid-April 2015 and return to France in August.  The first landfall will be Yorktown, Virginia, where the British surrendered, and at which the original Hermione saw action.  Other cities to be visited were provisionally announced as Norfolk, VA; Alexandria, VA; Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; Greenport, NY, and Boston, MA before departing for Nova Scotia.

The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette also announced that Moët-Hennessy has signed up as a Grand Benefactor of the voyage.

About Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America:

The American Friends of the Hermione-Lafayette exists to organize the visit of L'Hermione to the United States in 2015, and to create a legacy of cultural and education assets which celebrate the role of Lafayette and L'Hermione in aiding American independence.  The American Friends of the Hermione-Lafayette is a privately held, not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City.

Press Contact:
David Lincoln Ross, Editorial Director, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America