NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- In celebration of New Rochelle's founding by the Huguenots 327 years ago, the New Rochelle Sister City Committee presented a Bastille Day ceremony on Tuesday July 14 at City Hall. This French national holiday, recalling the storming of the king’s political prison, recognized the French Revolution as a result of the lessons learned in the American Revolution and expounded in our Declaration of Independence.
The ceremony included greetings by Mayor Noam Bramson and introductions by Sister City Initiative Member, Sheila Sarker. Professor Michael J. Hughes, Associate Professor of History, Iona College, presented the keynote address, titled "France: The Indispensable Ally in the Struggle for American Independence". New Rochelle’s City Manager, Charles B. Strome III gave the closing remarks. New York State Assembly Member, Steven Otis attended the celebration.
The French flag was raised by Alexandre Sherman and Sabrina Sherman from the French-American School of New York. At the raising of the tri-color of the French Republic, celebrants and guests joined in singing “La Marseillaise” followed by "The Star Spangled Banner”.
The Bastille Day ceremony is presented annually by the Sister City Initiative, which seeks to deepen the 327-year bond of friendship between New Rochelle and La Rochelle, France.