Happy Veteran’s day to all who are serving, and have served, of every nation.
First, a history lesson and perhaps a little alternative history.
If it had not been for the Last Bourbon King Louis of France, the history of the United States would most likely be very different indeed.
You see, The Continental Congress was running low on funds and managed to secure money from the French government of the time to continue the fight.
That benefited the French King since it helped the balance of power to tip somewhat in their favor against the British and King George. It also directly influenced France since that money came from somewhere, directly from some French pockets. In this case, taxes were raised. If you ever heard the saying “Let Them Eat Cake” it was referring to the poor at that time, in France.
That led to the particularly bloody French Revolution, the overthrow of the French Monarchy, establishment of the La Premiere Republique Francaise, the extermination of the French King and Marie Antoinette, the terror, and later Napoleon’s Empire and The French Conquest of Russia.
You can easily take that further and say that the added instability after his downfall caused the later upheavals, revolutions, and wars in Europe, all the way to this current day. Added poverty caused by the war, and Civilians always suffer most under a ground war in any given country. and the increased taxes and poverty to go to fight those later wars including the Russian Revolution, First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam …
You get the picture. It is entirely possible to say that some of those wars, and some of the later new countries would not exist as a result of American Independence.
Even if I believe that this situation has been a benefit to my own personal life and existence.
Enough history and alternative history.
I did do a passing search and look around. I find no comment as to whether it is factual or not on Snopes or other places, however it is widely quoted. I’ve heard it said even by my own father who fought to liberate Manila and other places.
This would be my turn to quote the story.
Since it is veteran’s day, this particular story is quite appropriate. In my mind, it is more of a comment against officious people in positions of power and uneducated people than The French…
Passport? What Passport?
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 92, arrived in Paris by plane with his son.
At French customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”
“Impossible! Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!”
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look.
Then, he quietly explained, ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on, D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.”
You could have heard a pin drop.