FORT LEE, N.J. -- The annual “Retreat to Victory” was enacted Sunday at Fort Lee Historic Park, but with a very appropriate twist: a show of solidarity with France.Participants hoisted a French flag along with the Stars and Stripes, and played the French national anthem.
Along with celebrating Washington’s strategic retreat -- “which saved the Revolution” -- participants wanted to show their empathy and support for France, said Tom Meyers, director of Fort Lee Cultural and Heritage Affairs.He called France "our first ally, and the nation that secured our victory against the British."
This is the 15th year the “Retreat to Victory” was celebrated -- traditionally, the Sunday before Thanksgiving and as close to the date of the original November 20, 1776 battle as possible. When Washington received word that the British had crossed upriver and were planning to assault Fort Lee, he quickly retreated to New Bridge where the troops disappeared into New Jersey communities.
But they reformed in Pennsylvania, thanks to the rhetoric of Thomas Paine. Washington successfully crossed the Delaware on Christmas Day, surprising and defeating the Hessians -- the rest, as they say, is history.
The video above of the retreat re-enactment and flag raisings was shot by Donna Brennan, president of the Fort Lee Historical Society.
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