Up & Coming Weekly

February 19, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 16 of 36

16 UCW FEBRUARY 20-26, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Fayetteville is known to many for its military neighbor, Fort Bragg. But Fayetteville played a large role in early American history, too, as has her name- sake, the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette has been immortalized in both French and American history as a military officer, an aristocrat and a Constitutional advo- cate. He changed the course of history for our country and our city. ere are many groups and people that celebrate Lafayette's memory. One of them is French native Julien Icher. His initiative, e Lafayette Trail Project, is a historical trail based on Lafayette's foot- steps during his 1824-25 Farewell Tour. e trail not only celebrates Lafayette, it educates the public and uplifts commu- nities. Icher's website, www.thelafayettetrail.com, explains his efforts: "Our goal is to provide localities whose history taps into General Lafayette with new incentives to increase tourism and benefit the devel- opment of local economies." ese efforts, in addition to the trail, include historical research, outreach, articles, lectures and more. e goal is to complete the project as the bi- centennial of Lafayette's Farewell Tour nears in 2024. When the towns of Cross Creek and Campbellton united in 1783, they named the city Fayetteville in commemoration of the esteemed war hero. Lafayette visited this city in 1783 during his Farewell Tour of the United States. Historians agree that without Lafayette's support, the Americans would have lost the war for independence. While generations of early Americans may have learned lessons from Lafayette, we can still learn from him today. According to Icher, "When Lafay- ette visited the country, the country was divided in 1824. In 2019, you also have a very politically divided America. It's a divide between the left and the right, the elites and the common American. And in 1824, Lafayette and his role give you an idea to bring to- gether Americans and unite them." Icher's robust inspiration, his belief in a common bond between our two nations, is a tribute to France, America, Fayetteville and La- fayette. Icher is proud of the historic relation- ship between America and France, explaining there exists "historical bands of friendship between the United States and France." ese historical bands, Icher explained, were molded by a common set of values that the French and American people share. He believes that Lafayette embodied these unique values of freedom, liberty and equality and that memorializing Lafayette is memorializing America's first ally, the French. According to him, Lafayette was, and still can be, a unifying figure for America. Icher said, "North Carolina has a lot of rural communities that are very interested (in La- fayette's story), eastern and northern Carolina, and it's a true sense of pride that they display." Readers can help the movement to memorialize Lafayette by visiting Icher's website, by calling their local state representatives or by volunteering their time. Find out more at www.thelafayettetrail.com. National Lafayette Trail Project celebrates city's namesake by ETHAN FINNEY HISTORY ETHAN FINNEY, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com 910-484-6200. e Lafayette Trail Project celebrates Lafayette's Farewell Tour in America in 1824-1825. Noches de Viernes Latina BAR & GRILL 907-0739 FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Bldg. 3-2102 Longstreet Road Fort Bragg, NC FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH • 8PM - MIDNIGHT

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