July 5, 2013
“One of the lessons of history is that very little of consequence is ever accomplished alone. It’s true of individuals, and it’s true of nations. We, France and America, have accomplished far greater achievements working together than we ever could have alone, and I know that is the very basis of what this Foundation stands for.”
—David McCullough, 2011 French-American Foundation Vergennes Achievement Award recipient, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
“France occupies a special place in its relations with the United States. It is, on the one hand, a proud, independent nation that makes its own judgments about the policies it should follow. Not all of our allies stake out their independence so fiercely. On the other hand, it is a nation firmly in the Western tradition that shares most values with the United States. In addition, the two nations have a rich history together, matched by few other countries. France’s support was invaluable as the United States was built; America’s assistance was essential to France’s survival in the great wars of the first half of the 20th century. The divergent, yet in many ways similar, nature of our respective societies and our special historical ties offer avenues of cooperation between France and the United States that are unique.
Americans should value the perspectives of the nation that is our oldest ally but at the same time provides an independent point of view regarding the issues that both nations must face in their domestic affairs and their foreign relations. We have an immense amount to learn from each other, and the French- American Foundation has an important role to play in facilitating this learning.”
—Brigadier General (ret.) Anthony A. Smith, 1981 Foundation Young Leader, 2001–2005 French-American Foundation President, current Foundation Board Member