Although I don’t consider myself much of a patriot, I have to confess to a definite weak spot when it comes to Bastille Day.
This day of national celebration in France comes at the height of the summer, filled with happy associations: a holiday; street parties; firework displays and most of all the military parade down the Champs Elysée.
In today’s world, a military parade may seem incongruous, but In Paris, it is perceived less as a show of power, and more as a celebration and recognition of the brave men and women who wear a uniform for France
A two hour parade, high in precision, high in colour, and this year, as it marks the 100 year remembrance of the first world war, high in emotion too.
The centre of the city is cordoned off, as regiments from all over France fall into line, with perfect timing and march, drive, ride or fly down the famous avenue.
So this morning, although I was at a brocante fair before dawn, I hurried home to be able to watch some of the parade on the television.
The complex organisation of this event is totally fascinating, and I’m touched by the evident pride on the faces of the soldiers, firemen, policemen and horsemen, as they play their individual role in this impressive display.
From me to you,
Happy Bastille Day , wherever you are!