As I entered Paris Saturday morning, I could hear the bells from Notré Dame. I had returned to the "City of Lights" – I remembered the words issued by U.S. Army Colonel C. E. Stanton, signaling the arrival of leading elements of the United States forces, newly engaged in the deadly struggle of the Allies against the Central Powers in the First World , "Lafayette, we are here!" For centuries, the French have been close-knit allies of the United Statesand only recently, has that alliance been questioned by some of my countrymen as to the commitment to the Franco-American alliance. Some Americans even abandoned one favorite American food – french fries, in favor of freedom fries. Others went beyond merely questioning the Franco-American alliance. Television personality Homer Simpson taunted our allies calling them "cheese-eating surrender monkeys". Such is not the case.
The French are as much our allies today, as they were when we fought side by side American troops with the French in the American Revolution, as well as the First and Second World Wars. Certainly we have had our ups and downs as with any relationship. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell likened the Franco-American relationship to a married couple when he said "The United States and France have been in marriage counseling for 220 years but the marriage is still strong."
I have found the French to be open, honest, and loving most everything American. One need only look at entrance to EuroDisney outside of Paris with its western motif to understand their love for everything American. Earlier this year Jean David Lavitte, French Ambassador to the United States proclaimed that "United States – France relations are back on track!" and I concur.
I had the good fortune to meet with Advocat Eric Andrieu on Penchard & Associates in Paris this past week. Monsieur Andrieu was nominated for membership in the American Counsel Association by Bernary Amyrot, President of the Canadian Bar. Penchard & Associates with over 20 attorneys concentrates its practice in intellectual property, commercial and family law. It was evident from the beginning of our meeting that Monsieur Andrieu had an affinity for the United States and the potential for business with the 300 American Counsel Association members in the United States.