3716 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
playing our part-and we hope it will be
a big part-on the Western Front."
The party proceeded from Liverpool
to London by special train. While there
General Pershing met Lord Derby, Secretary of State for War, General Lord French,
Premier Lloyd George, King George, and
many other British notables.
After conferences with the British military authorities, General Pershing passed
on to France. His reception was most
enthusiastic. As he stepped ashore at
Boulogne, he was greeted by General
Dumas, who said, "I salute the United
States of America, which has now become
united to the United States of Europe."
After a drive through the streets of Boulogne, amid the plaudits of great crowds,
General Pershing departed by special
train for Paris. His reception in that
city was the greatest given to anybody
since the beginning of the war. Every
housetop, wall, and window was filled with
cheering Frenchmen. "It seemed that
everyone was waving an American flag,
while cries of 'Vive l'Amerique!' became
a sustained roar on the way from the
Gare du Nord to the Boulevards." Among
those who greeted him were Marshal
Joffre, M. Viviani, and General Foch.
In Pershing the masses in the streets saw
symbolized the coming of an army. "Here
was America to help them, America,
which had always stood in popular imagination as the symbol of incredible wealth
and greatness. In the person of the
simply dressed American general
they cheered the whole American
army--millions strong, if need be, to
carry the war to victory."
On June 14, General Pershing was
taken to visit the tomb of Napoleon
in the Hotel des Invalides. As the
Americans entered the grounds leading to the building, they were met by
a number of veterans of previous
French wars who had their home at
this institution. One of them was a
grizzled soldier of the Crimean War.
Passing into the Invalides, General
Niox conducted the American commander within the vast rotunda with
its walls hung with battle flags. The
party proceeded to the crypt where
the sarcophagus of Napoleon is laid.
Few persons have ever been admitted
to the crypt except crowned heads or
former heads of states, as in the case
of ex-President Roosevelt on his return from Africa.
General Pershing and his staff were
taken to the crypt by Marshal Joffre.
A great key was inserted in the brass
door. "Marshal Joffre and General Niox
drew aside while General Pershing faced
the door alone. He took a deep breath,
stepped suddenly forward, and with a
single motion threw his arm straight out
and turned the key. In a tiny alcove
at one side of the crypt the governor
of the Invalides unlocked the case, drew
out the sword, and raised it to his lips.
Then he presented the hilt to General
Pershing, who received it, held it at
salute for a moment, and then kissed the
hilt. The same ceremony was followed