A portion of Secretary Kerry's remarks, translated from French (State Department)
"How appropriate for us to gather in the Ben Franklin Room. Not only did Franklin come to be called the first American, but he was also the father of the Foreign Service and he was our first ambassador to France. It was also Franklin who wrote many of the first rules for decorum in America, and then from the moment he arrived in Paris made every effort to break them all. (Laughter.) I don’t think we could get him confirmed by the Senate today. (Laughter.)
"But what Franklin did to bring the best of the frontier spirit to France, Thomas Jefferson did in sharing France’s cultural vitality with America. From Monticello’s dome, which you saw yesterday, Mr. President, with President Obama, and which was modeled after a palace on the Seine, to the Paris Market Wallflowers on Jefferson’s magnificent estate, to Voltaire and Rousseau’s influence on the founders’ belief in the consent of the governed and the connection between education and liberty, France has been an inspiration from our very start."