For all Frenchmen and women, and anyone with French connections, last Friday (14 July) was Bastille Day.
For all Frenchmen and women, and anyone with French connections, last Friday (14 July) was Bastille Day. And in Paris, as elsewhere in France, thousands took to the streets to celebrate.
SYNOPSIS: Every year, the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille Prison, way back in 1789, in the opening days of the French Revolution. An armed Parisian mob stormed the prison, which had become a symbol of oppression and royal tyranny. Its fall marked the spread of the revolution to the peasants all over France. In 1880 it was chosen as the National holiday in France, to be marked with parades, speeches and merrymaking. This year, as usual, the parade down the Champs Elysee drew thousands of spectators. Ten thousand soldiers, sailors, airmen, and civilians took part in the parade itself, including the famous 27th Alpine Division of the French Army.
The Fire Brigades, the police, and 22 Military Academies also sent detachments to the parade, attended by the French President and Prime Minister as well as other government, civic and military leaders.
Some of France's most sophisticated weaponry was on display, including the latest guided missile systems.
And while the parade continued on the ground, overhead a fly past of French planes and helicopters completed the spectacle.