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«La Fayette, nous voici!» – Charles E. Stanton, July 4th 1917 (Often mistakenly attributed to John J. Pershing)
Saturday was the 263rd birthday of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (excuse me while I take a breath). Often simply referred to as the Marquis de La Fayette, or Lafayette, the French nobleman who lived from 1757 to 1834 is a well-known and beloved figure in both France and the United States, which he fought to help establish. Most people know the story of the Marquis’ escape from France dressed as a woman to fight with George Washington’s army, his honorable service with and deep love for the General, and, on his return to Europe, his imprisonment and near escape from death during the French Revolution. All make for an interesting addition to the cast of characters of the American Revolution, especially when there were such colorful foreign actors as the Baron von Steuben.