WASHINGTON (AP) — “I have a Rendezvous with Death.”
French President Emmanuel Macron used those chilling words from an American soldier-poet to stress the historical alliance between the U.S. and France in his speech to Congress.
They were written by Alan Seeger a century ago in the World War I battlefields of northern France. His bones now lie mixed in with those of others who died alongside him on July 4, 1916.
Macron’s speech highlighted the ways the U.S. and France have long sacrificed for each other. But in repeating the Seeger quote, Macron also took aim at the isolationism that U.S. President Donald Trump has favored.
Seeger embraced the idea of fighting for a global, common cause, and his “Rendezvous with Death” poem eventually became a favorite of U.S. President John Kennedy.