First, for a focused statement on the importance of this vessel and Lafayette on US independence, click here  . . . from a Portland Maine publication.   More on Lafayette, click here, but skip the partisan dribble in paragraphs 3–6.  Also, here.

Most of the photos in this post I took on July 1, by which time the French shore contingent had done a great job setting up a pier display, and here’s my favorite poster.  Doubleclick on the photo to enlarge it and read the numbers.

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Soon after all lines were made fast, the ceremony started:  music, uniforms, flags, and the CASK!  It’s to be auctioned off.  I’d love to know the price.

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Thanks to Linda Roorda, Peter Boucher, and Xtian Herrou for answers about the flags and uniforms.  The uniforms here and in Wednesday’s post of the Breton bagpipers and the two matelots are French Naval summer uniforms. The flag flown below the US flag on L’Hermione is the Serapis flag–or a variation thereof– flown by John Paul Jones.

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Yesterday I stopped by and was fortunate to here speeches under the FDR.  Here, with microphone, South Street Seaport Museum Executive Director Jonathan Boulware talks about the ships, the museum, and all six boros of NYC.

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Then a parade set out from the pier and headed via Wall Street to Bowling Green, stopping

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briefly at Federal Hall.

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Happy Independence Day.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

If you have time for a little history of LaFayette, click here.  If you want more complicated history, sorting out fact and fiction about the signers of the Declaration, click here.