"The visit to Monticello, home to America's third president, served to showcase a relationship that stretches back to the founding of the United States in the late 18th century, an alliance still strong despite spats over U.S. eavesdropping and trade talks with the European Union." Reuters
These two soldiers are from the "Infanterie de la Marine." These are the old "Colonial Troops" of French History. They were renamed a while back in recognition of the end of the French empire overseas. They are specialists in interventions in the remote and obscure places of the earth. they are "hard cases."
President Hollande, like Sarkozy before him has been willing to commit these men and other French troops to combat as partners of the United States. They are valuable allies.
Americans should stop mouthing nonsense abou "freedom fries," and insults directed at an army that was bled dry in warfare against the Germans and Viet Minh. In fact they fought very well in all their wars. Names like Verdun, Bir Hakeim and Na San mean too litle for many.
As Obama said today at the White House, France is our oldest ally. We have never been at war with the French and without the French Army and the French Navy there would be no United States of America. pl