9:45 P.M. EST
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Please, have a seat. Good evening, everyone. Jill and I are honored. We’re truly honored to welcome you all to the first State Dinner that the President and the First Lady of United States have been able to have because of COVID. And we couldn’t have had a better guest than the President of France and the First Lady of France.
Tonight, we cel- — (applause) — tonight, we celebrate the enduring alliance between France and United States, a partnership that’s marked by so many firsts. France was our first ally, the first country to fly the American flag after our revolution. (Applause.) And Franc [France] hosted the first diplomatic posts. Before — more than anything else, France has been our first friend.
Ladies and gentlemen, I actually grew up in a place called New Castle, Delaware — County, and — near Brandywine Battlefield, where a young man named Marquis de Lafayette fought for the American cause and became close friends with a fellow named George Washington.
Later, Lafayette wrote of their friendship, he’d quote — and I quote, “It was a such simplicity that two friends were united by the greatest of causes.”
Today, we’re still united by the greatest causes: democracy, liberty, equality, opportunity, and freedom. We stand together against oppression and injustice. We stick up for one another in our — and democratic values to which Washington and Lafayette dedicated their lives. And we still strive to build a world that’s worthy of our highest hopes and of our future, knowing that we can always, always count on one another as allies and friends.