Woodrow Wilson photo

Remarks at the Hotel de Ville in Chaumont, France

December 25, 1918

M. le General, M. , etc.:

I feel that I have been peculiarly honored in the generous reception you have given me, and it is the more delightful because it so obviously comes from the heart; and I can not but believe that it is an instinctive response to the feeling that is in my own breast. Because I think that even you, after contact with our soldiers, can not realize the depth and sincerity of the feeling of the United States for France. It is an ancient friendship, but it has been renewed and has taken on a new youth. It is a friendship which is not only one of sentiment, but one based upon a communion of principle.

You have spoken very generously and very beautifully of the relations which have sprung up between yourselves and our soldiers. That is because they came not only to associate themselves with you as the champions of liberty, but they came with personal affection in their hearts for the people of France, and it must have been that which you realized. They did not come as strangers in their thoughts. They brought with them something that made them feel at home the moment they were at Havre or Brest in France.

So I am very much moved by being thus drawn, as they have been, into your midst and into your confidence, and wish to thank you very warmly for them and for the people of the United States. I, like them, shall carry away with me the most delightful recollections, and my heart will always say, as I now say, "Vive la France."

APP Note: The President was greeted by French General Henri Wirbel; M. Fossien, Prefect of the Department of the Marne; and M. Levy-Alphandery Mayor of Chaumont.

Woodrow Wilson, Remarks at the Hotel de Ville in Chaumont, France Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317448

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