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Virginia welcomes replica of French ship that helped fight Revolution

YORKTOWN, Va. — Forty-eight days after its launch and 237 years since its story began, the French tall ship Hermione sailed into Yorktown’s port Friday morning, greeted by red, white, and blue fireworks and a crowd of 500.

The much-anticipated ship — which took 17 years and nearly $30 million to build — fired its unarmed cannons as it maneuvered through the York River.

The Hermione carried the Marquis de Lafayette across the Atlantic Ocean to Boston more than two centuries ago with a message that would change this nation’s destiny: France was sending critically needed soldiers and ships to support the American Revolution.

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The French fleet played a crucial role in England’s surrender in Yorktown.

The replica is among the most authentic in the world, and its voyage is a source of immense national pride in France.

The ship is expected to draw huge crowds as it travels to Alexandria, Va., Annapolis, Baltimore, and then up the East Coast to Boston, on July 11.

Associated Press