Up & Coming Weekly

September 06, 2022

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 32

16 UCW SEPTEMBER 7 - 13, 2022 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM COVER STORY Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La- fayette may not ring any bells today, but a little under 200 years ago, he was one of the most famous men in the world. Known simply as Lafayette on American shores, the French noble- man fought in the Revolutionary War as an enthusiastic nineteen- year-old. He would later achieve military glory in his home country — thus becoming: "e Hero of Two Worlds." e weekend after Labor Day, the Lafayette Society will host its 15th Annual Lafayette Birthday Celebra- tion to honor the man, after which Fayetteville is named, in a three-day event beginning ursday, Sept. 8 and ending Saturday, Sept. 10. Born on September 6, 1757, in Auvergne, France, Lafayette felt unsuited to the life of a nobleman inside the palace of Versailles and hungered instead for the glory of battle. Lafayette considered colonial efforts against the British worthy enough to purchase his own ship, voyage to the New World against the wishes of King Louis XVI, and then join the Continental Army as a major general under George Washington. ough Lafayette proved him- self a capable soldier and military leader, he was sent back home to request French military support, which he was able to secure. Lafayette and General Washing- ton worked closely during the war, and as the "physical embodiment of the Franco-American Alliance," La- fayette was considered a key figure in important battles such as Rhode Island and Yorktown. Lafayette went on to achieve political and military success in his home country and was an outspo- ken advocate for natural law and the rights of man. In 1824, President James Mon- roe invited Lafayette to America to embark on a grand tour where his status as the Hero of Two Worlds would command crowds of up to 100,000 in some major cities. During his historic tour, Lafayette visited Fayetteville, the first city in America named after him. Lafayette died in 1834 and is buried in France under a sprinkle of earth from Bunker Hill. Today, over 80 cities and counties in the United States are named for him as a testa- ment to his bravery and loyalty to the then fledgling country. e Lafayette Birthday Celebra- tion, instituted in 2007 for what would have been Lafayette's 250th birthday, is an event that not only honors the man's birth but a life dedicated to military service, inquiry and action. e three-day celebration is an opportunity to see Fayetteville as he would have seen it, learn about a few of his contem- poraries, and experience art and music from another world. Now back to full form after two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the celebration will kick off at 7 p.m. on ursday, Sept. 8, with a special concert at First Presbyterian Church on Ann Street. e French Music Concert, a popular staple in the Lafayette birthday tradition, is performed by Dr. Gail Morfesis and Friends. e concert is a celebration of the strong alliance between France and America that still exists today. Tickets are $15 per person or $10 for students and can be purchased at the door, though advanced pur- chase is recommended. "Our Lafayette birthday concert will be a special treat," Morfesis told Up & Coming Weekly. "As always, it will include mem- bers of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, but this year half of our program will be a tribute to the French contributions to American Jazz. We will highlight the works of Claude Boling," she said. is year's concert is supported by the NC Arts Council and the Sandhills Guild of Organists. ree organists from the Sandhills chap- ter will also be featured. "I know that classical music and jazz lovers alike will have a wonder- ful experience. ere is a reception to follow with the artists," Morfesis said. Dr. Hank Parfitt of the Lafayette Society agreed. "ere are six or seven different musical numbers, and it moves along quickly. It's a great chance to experience clas- sical music in a fun environment. Fayetteville honors revolutionary hero with weekend of history, music and fun by ASHLEY SHIRLEY e Marquis de Lafayette was a French nobleman who fought alongside the American people in the Revolutionary War. His loyalty to General George Washington, his resources, and his alliance with the French king all played an important role in the American people earning their independence from the English crown. (Photo by Dylan Hooker. Below photos courtesy the Lafayette Society)

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