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A Revolutionary War hero is being remembered with a new marker along Cincinnati's riverfront

A red historical marker, with white raised writing on a blue background stands before the Steamboat Monument at Cincinnati's Public Landing.
Bill Rinehart
The founder of the Lafayette Trail hopes to have a dedication ceremony for the Cincinnati marker in May.

The Cincinnati riverfront has a new historical marker. It commemorates the Marquis de Lafayette's tour of America in 1824 and 1825. Over 16 months, he visited all 24 states, including Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

General Lafayette was not only a close friend of George Washington and many of the founding fathers, but he also raised money in his homeland to fund the American Revolution, and led colonists in battle.

Julien Icher founded the Lafayette Trail to help Americans remember the French hero.

"It's a very important legacy. This is a very important figure of early American history to be celebrated, to be interested in," Icher says. "As a Frenchman myself, I feel like most Americans are — maybe the word oblivious is too strong, but at least not aware as much as perhaps they should be about why the Marquis de Lafayette's legacy matters."

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Icher says the French general returned to the country for a number of reasons.

"He's going to be providing much-needed relief throughout the country by going to every single state that existed at the time, 24 states. And he will be revered as a hero of the American Revolution. And he will trump the regional divisiveness that is going rampant across the country in 1824."

Cincinnati now has the 111th of 120 Lafayette Trail historical markers. Icher says the trail also includes a series of online videos, and social media entries marking important days.

"You can think of Lafayette's legacy as a place for a gentleman from France that is going to be reassuring the American people that all they have, despite all their divisions, is something to be cherished, to be proud of, and unique in the world," he says. "Lafayette's legacy in this way is very significant to this day. I think it can still help Americans know who they are."

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He hopes to dedicate the new marker in May.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.