Donald Trump joins Emmanuel Macron for Bastille Day celebrations, wraps up France visit

Nice (France): France marked it's Bastille Day in Paris with a musical military parade on the Champs Elysees avenue, bringing US president Donald Trump's visit to an end while more sombre commemorations took place in Nice.

However the day was tinged with mourning, coming a year on from a militant massacre that claimed 86 lives in the southern city of Nice, where Macron led remembrances after the Paris ceremonies and vowed to "fight without mercy" inside and outside France to end extremist attacks.

US president Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron. AP

US president Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron. AP

In a speech on the anniversary of the atrocity, Macron said "this is what we owe you." Some of the victims and their families present as well as dignitaries and the corps of first responders, from police to rescue crews and hospital workers, were among those he addressed.

Commemorations followed celebrations on Bastille Day for Macron, who traveled to Nice for a solemn remembrance of the lives lost on 14 July, 2016, when a huge truck barreled down a famed beachside promenade, running over revelers awaiting the fireworks display on France's national day.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, though it remains unclear whether the Tunisian at the wheel of the truck, a longtime Nice resident, had any formal links to the organization.

Fireworks were lighting up the Paris sky on Friday night near the Eiffel Tower, but they were banned in Nice.

The solemnity in a city still coping with the aftermath of the attack was in sharp contrast to the pomp and display of French military might at the Bastille Day parade hours earlier in the French capital before Macron's guest of honor, President Donald Trump.

The Nice attack wasn't the first to hit France, nor the last. More than 230 people have been killed in extremist violence since 2015.

As in Paris, security was tight, the city heavily guarded on land and in the Mediterranean Sea. Place Massena, the central square where Macron spoke, was protected by cement barriers.


Updated Date: Jul 15, 2017 09:58 AM

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