About 5,000 participants take part in the parade along the Champs-Elysées, including 4,300 on foot, 73 planes, 24 helicopters, 221 vehicles and 200 horses of the Republican Guard.
Of the 73 planes, 54 will represent the air force, 12 the national navy, three civil security and four the director general of arms.
Among the troops in the spotlight is the Takuba, a special European force launched by France – and now supported by eight member states – to fight alongside Malian troops.
A total of 76 “everyday heroes” will also be honored during the parade; gendarmerie who have shown exceptional bravery and duty in the course of their work over the past year.
The Elysée said they were honored because they “embody dedication to the service of the people,” and should be recognized for their “daily, discreet but concrete heroism.”
One of them, Nina, spoke to BFMTV about recognition. She participated in the Thierry Dupin affair at the end of May.
Mr. Dupin, 29 years old, hidden in a forest at night in the Dordogne between May 30 and May 31, armed, after breaking into his ex-wife’s house and attempting to shoot his new partner.
Police attended the scene and were caught on a night watch of the forest. Mr. Dupin, a former soldier, was known to the police because he had already been convicted of domestic violence.
Nina told BFMTV: “We knew the address. We knew this person had previous convictions. We also knew about his military past.
She said during the incident she had acute knowledge of another case of domestic violence several months earlier, when three gendarmes lost their lives in Puy-de-Dôme.
She said, “Of course you think about it. But your duty is to act. You have to be clear-headed and determined. This is what we are trained for.
Mr. Dupin was finally arrested after being injured during the confrontation with the gendarmes.
Commenting on her role in the case, Nina said, “It’s nice to be recognized, but I don’t think I’m a hero. I’m a gendarme and I was just doing my duty.
YouTube stars in the sky
Two YouTubers, McFly and Carlito, will be two unlikely participants of the Patrouille de France show (the French equivalent of the British Red Arrows).
They were both received at the Elysee Palace in May, and were also due to appear in an image behind a speech by President Macron, but it’s not yet certain that will happen.
The Patrouille de France traditionally opens the parade each year, and uses colored smoke to draw the French tricolor in the sky.
The planes will also have the image of the Little Prince, the famous character from the children’s book of the same name by pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of the book.
The musical finale will include a choir of 120 young people from military high schools, civic service, volunteer military services and volunteer firefighting services.
The event started at 10:00 am and over 25,000 people are expected to attend the celebrations during the day.
The standing public is limited to a capacity equivalent to one person per 4m2.
Participants over 12 are required to present a ‘health pass’, which shows proof of a recent negative test, a full vaccination certificate, or proof of having recovered from Covid within the past six months . They are also required to wear a mask throughout the event.
the declared the Paris prefecture: “Anyone who does not respect these sanitary measures will be prohibited from entering the area. “
In addition to the parade, visitors can now see an exhibition of military aircraft at the Invalides, and a presentation of armed forces equipment in several districts of the city.
Paris has set up a “perimeter of protection” to secure the area, which began at 6:30 am this morning and will remain in place until 2:00 pm. The district includes the Champs-Élysées, the Concorde and the National Assembly.
(Image: © Paris Police Prefecture)
No access until 2:00 p.m.
Access by car to these areas is now limited until 2:00 p.m., and all vehicles will be banned from the central area.
Transport stations for the RATP and SNCF networks are also closed, including Tuileries, Concorde, Champs-Élysées Clémenceau, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Georges V and Charles de Gaulle Étoile.
About twenty bus lines were also diverted during the event.
No fireworks, no fun?
Despite the Parisian celebrations, a number of town halls across France have chosen to cancel their July 14 events due to the increase in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19.
Roubaix, north-east of Lille, had planned to light up its town hall, but this will not happen, in order to prevent people from gathering in the neighborhood.
In the North, the prefect canceled all shows and fireworks in the municipalities of Lille and Val-de-Sambre. The celebrations in Nancy, Nantes, Limoges, Carcassonne, Le Havre, La Roche-sur-Yonne and Brest have also been canceled or reduced.
The mayor of Limoges said: “The decision was taken not to put the population in danger, especially in the context of this uncertainty.
But Philippe, fireworks specialist in Roubaix, Told BFMTV: “I don’t understand this decision. The nightclubs have reopened, the restaurants are packed and we are doing our jobs outside and we are not allowed to do it. “
In Carcassonne, where half a million spectators usually congregate to watch the July 14 fireworks display, the decision was made to cancel the show rather than trying to control such a large number of people.
Some cities, like Toulouse, have chosen to split their events in order to avoid crowds gathering in one place. The city of Occitanie thus offers four simultaneous fireworks.
In Paris, the fireworks display from the Eiffel Tower will take place as usual.
Celebrate the Bastille and unity
The national holiday is the official term for what is called in English “Bastille Day”. It is celebrated in France and in French-speaking countries in commemoration of “the storming of the Bastille”, a major event of the French Revolution of 1789.
It also celebrates the “Fête de la Fédération”, which celebrated the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790.
The day is also celebrated in French-speaking areas and places with a large French population around the world.
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