Paris, July 14 (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday celebrated his first-ever Bastille Day with the usual pomp, military parade and flight show, commemorating the centenary of the US entering World War I.
Alongside his guest of honour US President Donald Trump, Macron presided over the military parade down the Champs Elysees Avenue with some 3,720 soldiers, including 211 armoured vehicles, 241 horses and 92 jets and helicopters flying over the sky, Xinhua news agency reported.
Around 10.30 a.m. local time, French fighter jets, Rafale and Mirage 2000 followed by US F-16s opened the annual parade with an air show, symbolizing the two countries’ military cooperation.
“This is a wonderful national celebration. Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom,” Trump said at a press meeting on Thursday.
Macron said Washington remains Paris’s strategic ally despite strong disagreement over climate change.
“One needs to continue dialogue even with disagreement. I’m in strong conflict with President Trump over the climate issue. But it’s essential to have regular exchanges,” he said.
“We have found reliable allies, friends, who came to our rescue; the US of America is one of them. The presence of President Donald Trump and his wife is a sign of a friendship that goes through time and I want to thank them for the choice made 100 years ago,” Macron told the gathering.
After the parade, the French President joined a commemoration in the southern city of Nice to honour the 86 people who were killed when a man drove a truck at a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day last year.