On this great day—France’s national day and the 228th anniversary of the French Revolution—Melania and I were proud to stand with the President of France and Madame Macron and to celebrate with the French people.
The ties between the United States and France stretch back almost as far as our shared history as democratic republics. France is America’s first and oldest ally. In 1778, our two countries signed a treaty of friendship and alliance. We have remained joined in common purpose ever since.
France was instrumental in the United States winning its independence. More than a century later, American doughboys repaid the debt. On July 4, 1917, at the tomb of the great French hero of the American Revolution, an American army officer crystalized his country’s gratitude with the immortal words, “Lafayette, we are here.”
Ten days later—exactly one hundred years ago today—soldiers from the United States Army’s First Infantry Division marched down the Champs-Élysées in this very parade. And today, troops from that same storied unit march once again with their French brothers and sisters.
America and France fought together throughout the rest of the bloody 20th century—sometimes reveling in triumph, other times enduring tragedy. But our spirits never wavered. Today our two countries stand taller—and more united—than ever. From Africa to the Middle East to Central Asia, we are fighting to destroy the terrorist organizations that threaten all civilized peoples and that continue to exact a terrible toll on the French people, including one year ago today. Together, we will eliminate their safe havens, end their financing, and eradicate their ideology.
America and France will never be defeated or divided. It was my high honor to commemorate, on French soil, France’s most historic day and the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States into World War I. Melania and I thank President and Madame Macron for hosting us. On behalf of the American people, we congratulate the people of France and look forward to many more centuries of friendship and cooperation.