Macron: ‘Freedom Is Never More Than One Generation Away From Extinction’

French president misattributes Reagan quote

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French President Emmanuel Macron used a famous quote from former President Ronald Reagan during his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction," Macron said, misattributing the quote to Theodore Roosevelt. "We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, handed on for them to do the same. This is an urgent reminder, indeed, because now, going beyond our bilateral ties, beyond our very special relationship, Europe and the United States must face together the global challenges of the century."

Macron borrowed the line from Reagan, who first made it famous in a speech to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 1961.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction," Reagan said. "We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Reagan later used a variation of the same quote during his inaugural address after being sworn in as the governor of California in 1967.

"Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction," Reagan said. "It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history, who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again."

Macron on Wednesday also described the deep ties between the United States and France.

"The United States is France's first scientific partner. Our economic ties create hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic," Macron said. "This story of France and the United States is a story of dialogue made of common dreams, of common struggle for dignity and progress. It is the best achievement of our democratic principles and values. This is a very special relationship. This is us."

President Donald Trump praised the long-standing relationship between the United States and France at the White House on Tuesday morning, when he welcomed Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at kugle@freebeacon.com.

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