Words spoken by an American military officer in 1917 at the tomb of a French patriot, the Marquis de Lafayette, who fought for the United States in the Revolutionary War. “Lafayette, we are here” suggested that, by entering World War I on the side of France, Americans were repaying a debt to the French, who had helped the United States gain its independence from Britain. Some have identified the person who first said “Lafayette, we are here” as General John Pershing.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.