Macron Treats Trump to Extravagant Bastille Day Parade

Celebration included US service members to mark 100 years since US entered WWI
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2017 7:26 AM CDT
Trump, Macron Take in Elaborate Bastille Day Parade
French Republican Guards ride their horses past the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Friday.   (Etienne Laurent, Pool via AP)

Emmanuel Macron's first handshake with President Trump in May may have suggested a confrontational start, but the French president has pulled out all the stops for Trump's visit to his country. On Thursday, there was dinner in the Eiffel Tower, and on Friday, Trump was regaled with an extravagant military parade in the capital to commemorate Bastille Day. CNN calls it "a strategic show of friendship" by Macron. As this year's celebration also marks 100 years since the US entered WWI, the parade—watched by Macron and Trump from their highly guarded spot at the Place de la Concorde—featured appearances from 150 or so US service members and American aircraft, in addition to French military. Bastille Day is France's version of July 4, marking the July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille prison that was a symbol of that time's tyrannical rule, per the Independent.

CNN notes two reasons that may underlie all this pomp and circumstance: Macron's wish to elevate France back to "major global standing," as well as to get closer to Trump—who "has long been fascinated by the military," per the Washington Post—and serve as his "bridge to Europe." "Mr. Trump's presence at my side is a sign of an enduring friendship and I want to thank him," Macron said after the parade, per Reuters. The day takes on a somber note, too, as it's the one-year anniversary of the terror attack in Nice, which killed nearly 90 people. Earlier this month, a man was arrested for allegedly plotting an attack on Macron during Bastille Day. More than 130,000 security staff and emergency services workers are keeping things safe nationwide, per USA Today. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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