President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron concluded the state visit with their friendship very much intact.
“On both sides of the ocean, some two years ago, very few would have bet on us being here together today,” Macron remarked during his toast at the State Dinner.
Trump also praised Macron, hearkening back to the long history of France and the United States standing together in defense of freedom.
“May our friendship grow even deeper, may our kinship grow even stronger, and may our sacred liberty never die,” Trump said.
The state dinner was a remarkable success, due to the meticulous detail given to the occasion by First Lady Melania Trump.
“To America’s absolutely incredible first lady, thank you for making this an evening to always cherish and remember,” Trump said during his toast. “Thank you, Melania.”
The state visit was, as Trump frequently describes his best meetings, a “lovefest,” as each world leader shared lengthy handshakes, spoke highly of each other as the detailed their agreement to face problems that the Western world was facing.
Trump and Macron frequently cited the relationship between Marquis de Lafayette, the young French officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War and President George Washington. Lafayette was like a son to Washington, and he named his son after the first American president as a sign of their friendship.
The private dinner with the Macrons at George Washington’s historic home of Mount Vernon was illustrative of that relationship and the history between the two nations.
Citing Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Trump described freedom as a “divine flame” that “evil can never wholly extinguish and which good can make to glow with splendor.”
The French president described the relationship between France and the United States in similar terms, noting that it was essential that they continue fighting for Western values.
Both Macron and Trump repeatedly referred to the heroic efforts by Americans and the French in World War I and World War II, illustrated by Macron’s gift of an oak tree from Belleau Wood which they planted at the White House.
Macron told Trump that the tree was taken from the same area of the famous “Bull Dog” fountain, an important site in Marine Core tradition.
“Europe and the United States, have an appointment with history,” Macron said. “We have but one duty, Mr. President, dear friend, to be at that appointment.”