"Lafayette, We Are Here"

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"LAFAYETTE, WE ARE HERE." These words were spoken during World War I at the tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette during a speech honoring his heroic service in the cause of the American Revolution. On 4 July 1917 Paris celebrated American Independence Day. A U.S. battalion marched to the Picpus Cemetery, where several speeches were made at Lafayette's tomb. The historic words uttered on that occasion, "Lafayette, nous voilà" (Lafayette, we are here), have been popularly, but erroneously, attributed to General John J. Pershing. He stated that they were spoken by Colonel Charles E. Stanton, and "to him must go the credit for coining so happy and felicitous a phrase."


Pershing, John J. My Experiences in the World War. New York: Stokes, 1931.

Smith, Gene. Until the Last Trumpet Sounds: The Life of General of the Armies John J. Pershing. New York: Wiley, 1998.

Joseph Mills Hanson / d. b.

See also French in the American Revolution .

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"Lafayette, We Are Here"