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France celebrates Bastille Day

France celebrates Bastille Day
Copyright REUTERS
Copyright REUTERS
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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France celebrates Bastille Day


Some 4290 military personnel, 220 vehicles, 250 horses, 64 airplanes, and 30 helicopters will parade down the famed Champs Elysees for France's national day on Saturday.

The parade's theme this year is "Brotherhood of arms in uniform: the commitment of a lifetime" and will honour blessed soldiers and victims of the Irma and Maria hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Ahead of the celebrations, security has been tightened all over the city. At a press conference, Paris Chief of Police Michel Delpuech said 12,000 police officers and 3,000 rescue workers had been deployed in Paris and its suburbs for Saturday and Sunday.

Around 110,000 officers will be monitoring the July 14 celebrations and the World Cup final across France said Interior Minister Gerard Collomb on Friday.

The celebration will continue with a firework display at the Eiffel Tower later in the evening.

Watch the celebration here

What is Bastille Day?

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 by a mob of Parisians during the opening stages of the French Revolution. The anniversary became a national day in 1880 and is marked by parades, speeches, parties and fireworks. The major public event to mark Bastille Day is the military parade down the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Who is this year's special guest?

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong and the Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono will be the guests of honour this year. The symbols of the two countries will open the parade this year alongside those of France.

Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron received US President Donald Trump as his guest of honour.

What about Nice?

There will be no fireworks for Bastille Day at Nice's Promenade des Anglais. Two years after a terror attack that took 86 lives, the southern French city is still not ready to commemorate the country's national day, which has turned into a day of mourning instead.

A vigil to remember those who lost their lives will be held on Saturday.

The tweet reads: "July 14th will never be the just the national day for Nice or for France again. Our thoughts are with the 86 angels, and all the other victims."

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