So, today is the 14th of July here in France. It's a national holiday here-- much like the 4th of July in the U.S. except for that this day in France is NOT "Independence Day" as in America of the 4th.
The parade opens with cadets from the École Polytechnique, Saint-Cyr, École Navale, and so forth, then otherinfantry troops, then motorized troops; aviation of the Patrouille de France flies above. In recent times, it has become customary to invite units from France's allies to the parade; in 2004 during the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, British troops (the band of the Royal Marines, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Grenadier Guards and King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery) led the Bastille Day parade in Paris for the first time, with the Red Arrows flying overhead. In 2007 the German 26th Airborne Brigade led the march followed by British Royal Marines.
The president used to give an interview to members of the press, discussing the situation of the country, recent events and projects for the future. Nicolas Sarkozy, elected president in 2007, has chosen not to give it. The President also holds a garden party at the Palais de l'Elysée.
Article 17 of the Constitution of France gives the President the authority to pardon criminals, and since 1991 the President has pardoned many petty offenders (mainly traffic offences) on 14 July. In 2007, President Sarkozy declined to continue the practice.
**All pictures were taken off the internet.