Bastille Day: France flaunts military might as Trump watches

U.S troops march down the Champs Elysees during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. Paris has tightened security before its annual Bastille Day parade, which this year is being opened by American troops with President Donald Trump as the guest of honor to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I. (AP/Photo/Markus Schreiber)

PARIS (AP) — France’s Bastille Day parade on Friday coupled traditional displays of military might with a look at wars past and present — and a nod to the U.S. role in both.

French President Emmanuel Macron invited Donald Trump as the guest of honor for the celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. The two men sat side by side with their wives, speaking animatedly as American and French warplanes roared above the Champs-Elysees.

Two hours before the parade Friday, the famed Champs-Elysees avenue was emptied as was the Place de la Concorde with its golden-tipped obelisk. The wide boulevard has been targeted repeatedly by Islamic extremists, most recently last month when a man crashed his car into a convoy of gendarmes.

Related: Trump seeks consensus with France despite differences

Five of the 145 U.S. troops marching in Friday’s parade wore period World War I uniforms; Trump saluted the detachment as it passed.

Also in the parade were French soldiers taking part in the mission against the Islamic State group. France and the United States are among a coalition of nations fighting the extremist organization.

Trump was expected to return to the U.S. after the parade and Macron heads to the southern city of Nice, where last year an extremist plowed a truck into the holiday crowd, killing dozens. IS claimed responsibility for that attack and others in France, including one just last month on the Champs-Elysees that left only the attacker dead.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s