SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, let’s keep in mind what the, sort of, centerpiece of the trip is, which is the French National Day and its celebration of the 100th anniversary of US forces entering World War I — an entry which was really decisive, historically.
The French Army had sustained horrendous losses over three years of war; Russia had just fallen out of the war because of the Bolshevik Revolution, so a million German forces were being transferred to the Western Front.
And so while we certainly didn’t win the war by ourselves, the American contribution was decisive in the outcome of the war.
So I think that’s the primary reason of this particular visit at this particular time.
The fact that we participated in such a major way in World War I, side by side with the French, is a clear parallel to what we’re doing today.
—Senior Administration Official
Background Briefing on the President’s Trip to France, July 11, 2017
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