The highlight of the day's program was the ‘Patriotic Exercises and Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony' conducted at the base of the ‘Monument to Alliance and Victory'. This followed the traditional Yorktown Day Parade down the Main Street of Yorktown included marching bands and formations of local schools, heritage organizations, and several US military units
Mr. William N. Kirchner, President of the American Friends of Lafayette, presided over the ceremony that began at 1115 hours. There followed: the Parade of Flags, Invocation, National Anthems of the Republic of France and the United States of America, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, Welcome and Introduction of Platform Guests.

M. Denis Pietton, Deputy Chief of Mission from the French Embassy, delivered the French government's greetings.

M. Jacques de Trentinian, a member of the French branch of the Sons of the American Revolution gave the keynote address.
M. de Trentinian's presentation is on a separate page. See Yorktown Day 2004 Keynote Address.

Following the speeches, there was the Placement of the Memorial Wreath, the Memorial Prayer, and the Sounding of Taps.

A delegation of French Sons of the American Revolution participated in the central events of Yorktown Day, beginning with early morning commemorative ceremonies at ‘the French Cemetery' adjacent to the battlefield, and at the ‘French Memorial' [right] that honors the French soldiers and sailors who fought for American Independence at Yorktown.

Among several other events that took place later in the day were a presentation by the US Army Commander-in-Chief's Guard and Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps; and the placing a wreath at Redoubt 9 on the battlefield [right]. The redoubt was assaulted and taken on the night of 14 October 1781 by the French regiments of the Royal Deux-Ponts and the Gatinais. The same night, American units seized the nearby British Redoubt 10.

Yorktown Day is sponsored by the Yorktown Day Association and co-sponsored by the National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park. The following is a brief history of THE YORKTOWN DAY ASSOCIATION.
Each year since the surrender of Lord Cornwallis' British and 'German' troops at Yorktown, Virginia, to General George Washington's Allied American and French troops on 19 October 1781, there has been some patriotic observance. On 19 October 1947, the Comte de Grasse Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated the 25th ceremony of sponsorship of the Yorktown Day activities. This ceremony spurred the interest of other groups to form a committee in 1948 of those who had participated in the 19 October 1948 program. This committee was to plan and carry out Yorktown Day programs. On 19 August 1949 the committee formed the Yorktown Day Association. Among their activities, memorial wreaths were placed at the Monument to Alliance and Victory by various societies which set the tradition upon which future Yorktown Days were based. Since that time, the Yorktown Day Association members have planned patriotic exercises every year to commemorate the victory at Yorktown which virtually assured American Independence.
The Yorktown Day Association currently has the following members:
The American Friends of Lafayette
Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia
National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America
York County Board of Supervisors
Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Yorktown Branch
Yorktown Foundation
Comte de Grasse Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American
Colonial National Historical Park
National Society Daughters of the American Colonists
Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution
Sons of the Revolution in the State of Virginia
National Society Children of the American Revolution
Yorktown Day Association Board Officers:
Mr. S. Franklin Edwards President of the Yorktown Day Association, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities ,Yorktown Branch.
Mrs. Betty L. McPherson Vice President of the Yorktown Day Association, The American Friends of Lafayette.
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Page posted 22 October 2004; revised 2 August 20046