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Replica of French frigate arrives in New York

Replica of French frigate arrives in New York

NEW YORK: A replica of a majestic 18th century tall ship that brought French General Lafayette to America arrived in New York on Wednesday to take part in July 4 Independence Day festivities.

The original three-masted Hermione brought the general to America to rally US rebels fighting for independence from Britain. To much fanfare and applause, the ship docked at Pier 15 in south Manhattan on the East River.

The Hermione replica, which took almost two decades to build, left from France’s western coast on April 18 and retraced the 3,700-mile journey across the Atlantic.

It arrived June 5 for a first stop in Yorktown, Virginia, where American forces led by General George Washington and French soldiers scored a decisive victory over the British in 1781, prompting their capitulation. The original Hermione was used in that battle.

On its way to New York, the ship stopped over in Mount Vernon, which is near Washington, then in Annapolis and Baltimore, both in Maryland, and in Philadelphia. It will move on to Boston and then to Canada.

In New York, the Hermione will be escorted by hundreds of sail and motor boats past the Statue of Liberty during a July 4 maritime procession to mark Independence Day.

Craig Stapelton, a former US ambassador to France, and Bertrand Lortholary, the French consul general in New York, were to preside over a welcoming ceremony later Wednesday in New York.

New York was the last city liberated by Washington’s troops, in 1783.

The metropolis now known as the Big Apple served briefly as US capital, from 1785 to 1790.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2015

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