US Welcomes French President François Hollande
“To our French friends, I say let’s do even more together.” - President Obama
On February 11th, President Obama welcomed French President François Hollande to Washington at Arlington National Cemetery where both leaders expressed enthusiastic support for the longstanding friendship between France and the United States.
With D-Day veterans in the audience, both Presidents evoked the Normandy landing attacks of June 6th, 1944, asserting that the countries owe their freedom to each other and to the brave soldiers who fought in World War II. Obama noted that America owes significant aspects of its landscape to France—the Statue of Liberty, the French Quarter in New Orleans—and explained that the countries must extend the strong partnership represented by these landmarks into the future, “to make it new, for our time.”
Today, French-American cooperation “will enable us to make this world a better place, a safer place, a more humane place,” said Hollande, who emphasized his conviction that France and America must work together to fight terrorism, eradicate weapons of mass destruction, develop Africa, and fight global warming. In the image of American leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Eleanor Roosevelt, France and America must harness their energies and continue to expand a relationship already strengthened by shared values of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, liberté, égalité and fraternité.