While flags flew briskly in downtown Lexington, the French language was also in the air during a special ceremony Friday morning.
City dignitaries from three countries recognized a 60-year sister city relationship between Lexington and Deauville, France.
The picturesque event got underway with national anthems in English and French.
The twinning of the equine-friendly cities of Lexington and Deauville occurred in 1957, just one year after U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower initiated the cross-cultural program.
Former Deauville Mayor Anne d’Ornano said the relationship is deeper that just horses and economics. She said it’s family.
“It’s very much alive. We’re sixty years old but not getting old. We’re getting younger in a way,” noted d’Ornano.
Lexington World War II Veteran, Victor Robinson was among those preparing to go ashore at Normandy France in 1944. During the ceremony, d’Ornano asked those traveling from France to applaud Robinson for his service.
When asked afterward how that made him feel, it took Robinson a full ten seconds to respond.
“Emotional….very emotional….but very nice..it was good when she said that…very nice….not often you get recognized when you’re 92,” said a tearful Robinson.
In addition to the French town, Lexington also has sister cities in County Kildare, Ireland, Shinhidaka, Japan, and New Market, England.