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The Journal Gazette

  • Portuguese troops take part to Bastille Day parade Sunday, July 14, 2019 on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

  • Tanks rolling on the Champs-Elysees avenue during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, France, Sunday July 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • French paratroopers march on the Champs-Elysees avenue during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, France, Sunday July 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • Soldiers of the 132 infantry march on the Champs-Elysees avenue during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, France, Sunday July 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • Veterans walk on the Champs-Elysees avenue during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, France, Sunday July 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

  • From the left, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and French President Emmanuel Macron, attend Bastille Day parade Sunday, July 14, 2019 on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Sunday, July 14, 2019 10:30 am

France trumpets shared European defense on Bastille Day

Associated Press

 

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has overseen France's annual Bastille Day celebration, which this year showcases European defense cooperation.

Flags of the 10 countries of the European Intervention Initiative, a joint military pact created last year, led Sunday's military parade down the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris.

Although the display included over 4,000 armed forces, 69 planes and 39 helicopters, its biggest crowd-pleaser was a man rocketing through the air on a flyboard device – the invention of French former jet-skiing champion Franky Zapata.

Tensions in the street remain high in Paris following months of demonstrations by the anti-Macron yellow vest protesters who want more help for French workers. On Sunday, television images showed police grabbing one of the movement's leaders, Eric Drouet, as he stood on the sidelines of the parade and escorting him away.

At France's 2017 Bastille Day events, U.S. President Donald Trump, as guest of honor, was so impressed he ordered a military parade in Washington for America's July 4 celebrations.

Macron will later host a lunch at the Elysee Palace with other European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.