Bastille Day Parade in Paris Enthralls President Trump
Military procession along Champs-Élysées caps whirlwind trip to France
President Donald Trump reveled in the spectacle of tanks, military aircraft and men and women in uniform marching down the Champs-Élysées at a ceremony that served to mark the end of his visit to America’s oldest ally.
Mr. Trump, who had considered holding a military parade to celebrate his inauguration in January but ultimately opted against it, appeared thrilled by France’s Bastille Day spectacle on Friday.
A procession of tanks rolled along the Champs-Élysées, followed by more than 60 aircraft flying over Paris—some trailing blue, white and red contrails—and hundreds of officers marching in uniform, including nearly 200 U.S. service members.
Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump watched the parade at the Place de la Concorde beside French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte. Mr. Macron, who arrived to the parade standing in the front seat of an open, camouflaged military jeep, invited Mr. Trump to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.
After a somber start to the parade, Mr. Trump grew visibly animated as the aircraft began flying overhead, clapping his hands together and at several points leaning over to Mr. Macron and his wife to point at the sky. He inched closer and closer to Mr. Macron over the course of the parade.
Mr. Trump appeared to grow serious again as the military band approached him and Mr. Macron and began to play “Get Lucky” by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk.
In a solemn address at the end of the parade, Mr. Macron spoke of French people’s ability to find strength within themselves to defend the Republic, but also of how France has relied on allies in the past.
“We have also found sure allies, friends, who came to help us. The United States of America are among them,” Mr. Macron said, as Mr. Trump stood beside him. “That is why nothing will separate us, never. The presence today of the U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife is the sign of a friendship that lasts through time.”
The parade caps a whirlwind trip to Paris for Mr. Trump, who boarded Air Force One to leave Paris immediately after the ceremony.
At a joint news conference Thursday, the two leaders sought to move past divisions on issues such as climate change and trade that were on display at last week’s Group of 20 world leaders summit.
Mr. Trump said Thursday that the two allies are “together, perhaps more so than ever,” and called Mr. Macron a “great leader” and a “tough president.” Mr. Macron said they would “dine as friends” later that evening at the lavish restaurant Le Jules Verne on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.
“Great evening with President @EmmanuelMacron & Mrs. Macron,” Mr. Trump tweeted after the dinner, including a photo of the two couples. “Went to Eiffel Tower for dinner. Relationship with France stronger than ever.”