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October 1, 2013

Plainfield man organizes special reunion

SPEEDWAY —

SPEEDWAY — Most people have their class reunions near their childhood home. They go back to see their old haunts and maybe a few family members after visiting with high school classmates.

Plainfield’s Lance Burris has a different experience every time his school meets for a reunion.

Burris attended Rochefort American High School, which was an American high school in a military facility at Rohefort, France. He attended the school for his freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school.

"My dad was in the Army and was stationed at a base which was 100 miles from where I went to school,” Burris said. “Because it was so far from the base, we lived in a dormitory. We would stay through the week and then go home to the base on the weekends.”

He said the experience helped him to mature earlier and become pretty self-sufficient.

“We would commute on military buses from different military bases,” he said. “They called us ‘military brats.’ It was a unique way to grow up.”

The school building where they attended was once the headquarters of Napoleon before his exile. Near the school building there was a moat that had been blocked off so the French could build ships during World War II. 

“The moat had been drained but for the past five years they've been building a replica of the ship of Lafayette,” Burris said. “We hope to travel to see the ship in 2015. They're going to sail the ship the path Lafayette took up the East Coast. Rochefort High School is on one of the sails of the ship.”

The frigate Hermione was linked to the Marquis de Lafayette. The original ship was built in 1779. It embarked on a trip from Rochefort to Boston in 1780.

“Our alumni hope to be there to greet the ship,” Burris said.

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