Battle of Yorktown Anniversary Remembered

October 20th, 2006  

Topic: Battle of Yorktown Anniversary Remembered

Battle of Yorktown Anniversary Remembered

Associated Press | October 19, 2006

YORKTOWN, Virginia - French and American officials gathered Thursday, renewing historical ties with the start of a celebration marking the 225th anniversary of the last battle of the American Revolution, a fight in which French forces proved critical in the defeat of British troops.

Events got under way in the fog with a parade featuring representatives of all branches of the U.S. military, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets, the French Navy, high school bands and various patriotic organizations.

The four-day celebration is part of an 18-month series of events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of America's first permanent English settlement in Jamestown in 1607. British rule in America ended nearly 175 years later when French and U.S. troops under Gens. Jean-Baptiste Rochambeau and George Washington defeated British forces led by Gen. Charles Cornwallis, who surrendered Oct. 19, 1781.

The American Revolution was in its seventh year when Cornwallis brought his army to Yorktown to establish a naval base. Much of the town was destroyed in a siege by American and French forces.

On Thursday, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and U.S. Sens. John Warner and George Allen from Virginia were to make remarks at the Yorktown Victory Monument, where 40 people were to be sworn in as new U.S. citizens.

Other activities planned over the four days include a parade, the premiere of a symphonic tribute to the military, fireworks and a re-enactment of the final Revolutionary War battle by more than 2,500 participants from around the world.,00.html

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