France holds traditional National Day festivities amid high security

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-14 20:49:10|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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PARIS, July 14 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron kicked off festivities on Saturday to mark France's National Day with traditional military parade.

Accompanied by soldiers on horseback, Macron marched down the Champs Elysees avenue in an open-roof car and saluted crowds waving tricolor flags.

Alongside French officials and representatives from Japan and Singapore, this year's guest honors, Macron presided the parade in which about 4,000 men and women from France's army, navy and air force took part.

In addition, 220 armored vehicles, 241 horses and 92 jets and helicopters participated in the parade.

Nine jets from the aerobatics team of the Patrouille de France performed an aerobatic display, trailing smoke in the colors of the French flag -- blue, white and red.

Under the motto of "Brotherhood of Arms in Uniform, Commitment of a Lifetime", this year's National Day paid tribute to forces that participated in rescue operations in French overseas territories devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria last September.

Later in the day, huge crowds were expected to enjoy fireworks display centered on the Eiffel Tower and across the country commemorating the Bastille Day.

In order to preserve calm during the festivities, French government deployed 110,000 of police officers and gendarmes, 44,000 firefighters and 143 mobile force units.

In Paris, 12,000 officers are mobilized for the National Day and World Cup final between France and Croatia.