Bastille Day: France flaunts military might as Trump watches
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.
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, discusses with French President Emmanuel Macron prior to the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. [Photo: AP]
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.
French Alphajets of the Patrouille de France fly over the Champs Elysees avenue, with the Arc de Triomphe in background, during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. [Photo: AP]
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.
U.S troops march down the Champs Elysees avenue during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. [Photo: AP]
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.
French Republican Guards ride their horse past the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. [Photo: AP]
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.