Mr. Speaker, as President Emmanuel Macron continues his visit to the United States, I would like to acknowledge the shared sacrifice of his nation and ours during the First World War. President Macron graciously brought with him a sapling from the Belleau Wood, the site of the first battle in World War I where American generals commanded troops in the field.
The American forces overwhelmed their adversaries and helped the Allied forces win the day. The U.S. Marines were the toast of Paris, having provided a key spark to the Allied maneuvers in the battle.
The nickname they gained from their actions in battle, ‘‘Teufelhunde’’ or ‘‘Devil Dogs,’’ lives on today. Some Americans were already in France, voluntarily joining the fight to defend France and her allies.
Thirty-eight American pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of the French air service that saw action at the Battle of Verdun and other notable engagements of the war, and more than 200 additional Americans served in other French squadrons.
Informally referred to collectively as the La Fayette Flying Corps, these American aviators voluntarily served the French people in the same spirit as the Marquis de Lafayette did for the 13 colonies in the Revolution.
Many of these pilots were not much older than the 19-year-old Lafayette when he first landed on American soil yet still made a significant contribution to the defense of France in World War I.
Mr. Speaker, the United States and France have risen to each other’s defense throughout history because we share the values of liberty and freedom, and we will continue to stand by our French allies in promoting these values at home and around the world.
And that’s just the way it is.