The Marquis de Lafayette was only 19 years-old when he sailed to America from France and volunteered to fight on the side of America in the Revolutionary War. Called “The Boy General,” Lafayette became a son and close friend to General George Washington and to this day is remembered for his bravery and heroism, particularly related to the Battle of Brandywine.
Twenty years ago, a small group of specialists and craftsmen decided to honor Lafayette by building a replica of his 18th century ship, L’Hermione. During the war, that ship crossed the Atlantic, arriving in Yorktown, Virginia, on June 5, where she took part in a blockage that that led to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and his army. This replica, standing 117 feet tall and 210 feet long, was completed in April, 2014.
After a stop at Mount Vernon, Washington’s home, the Hermione was docked in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 10 and 11. Continuing its journey, it will stop in Annapolis, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, before arriving in New York City for what promises to be an unforgettable celebration for the Fourth of July. Following New York, the ship will continue to Greenport, Newport, Boston, Castine, Maine, and finally Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, before heading home.
The ship will arrive in New York City on July 1, at Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport. There will be a welcome ceremony with both U.S. and French officials. From July 1 through July 3, the public will be invited to tour the ship. Buying tickets beforehand is advised.
On July 4, the Hermione will lead a parade of ships, beginning at the Verrazano Bridge, past the Statue of Liberty, up to the Intrepid Museum. Vessels will then turn to port, cross the river, and head down on the New Jersey side. The Hermione will continue to Governors Island where she will berth on Yankee Pier. The public is also invited to tour an exhibit about the ship on Governors Island.
Private and public vessels are invited to participate in the parade. A list of the ships already registered is on the website. Others must register by July 1.
With Macy’s Fireworks planned for the evening, July 4 is shaping up to be a memorable celebration in New York City.