July 14, 2008
Bonne Fête--- 14 juillet en France 2008
Except taken from American Chronicle: Bastille Day is the great national holiday of France, equivalent to our Independence Day. In the true Gallic tradition, Bastille Day is also celebrated in America.
Why have we Americans so fervently embraced a foreign holiday of which we know so little about? It is due, perhaps, to the unmistakable joie de vivre we have imported from the French culture. Our thoughts about Bastille Day are not so much an exercise in history, but rather a reflection of the things we view as endemic to the nation of France.
From the impressionistic skies of Normandy to the crashing waves of Biarritz, the country of ancient Gaul transports itself to America every July 14th. On this day, the French tricolor waves proudly along with our own "Stars and Stripes," political intentions are discarded and a union of cultures is born of civility and cultivation. Francophiles unite for a celebration of the Gallic spirit here in America. What exactly is this joie de vivre and how do we define it? It is partially Epicurean in nature, stemming from the most discriminating tastes in life’s finer pleasures. Yet, there is also an emotional aspect to why we Americans celebrate Bastille Day, which is tied to the romanticism inherent in the French language and culture. It is at times both melancholic and uplifting as it tugs at our innermost feelings. The "Sweet France," as she is sometimes affectionately called, endures as America’s oldest ally, the friendship spanning over two centuries. A good friend tries to give good advice as the French Government did in admonishing the United States not to invade Iraq. Now that they appear correct in their assessment of an ill advised Iraq invasion, it is time to recognize our well-intentioned friend. Since the "French Café Society" of the 1920s, subsequent modes of travel been accessible to the masses, thereby fostering greater Franco-American cross-cultural awareness.
NOTE: Pictures taken of the internet.