For the first time since the Liberation, the national holiday will not be celebrated by the traditional parade on the Champs-Elysées. The number of guests will be limited and tributes will be paid to De Gaulle, the soldiers and medical staff who intervened during the crisis.
If the epidemic is running out of steam on French soil, restrictive measures are still in place. For the first time since World War II, the traditional July 14 parade on the Champs Elysées will not take place. In order to guarantee social distancing, the national holiday will be celebrated during a restricted ceremony, place de la Concorde. In particular, it will pay tribute to the medical staff and soldiers mobilized during the health crisis.
Exceptionally, the substitution mechanism will be limited to 2,000 soldiers and 2,500 guests. Although the executive does not currently plan to open representation to the general public, “The situation could be reassessed by July 14”depending on the sanitary conditions, nuance the presidency. This will highlight the military units mobilized in the fight against the coronavirus under the aegis of Operation Resilience, launched on March 25 by Emmanuel Macron. The traditional parade usually mobilizes more than 4,000 soldiers. No rehearsals will take place in the Paris region as is usually the case.
The Armed Forces Health Service (SSA) and the Army Medical Regiment will be at the forefront of this celebration. Also present will be Air Force personnel who have transferred patients by air, or the crews of helicopter carriers (PHA) who have conveyed medical equipment and reinforcements Overseas.
Tribute to General de Gaulle
The 2020 edition will take place under the theme of a tribute to General De Gaulle, celebrated this year on the occasion of a double anniversary: that of his death, fifty years ago, and that of the appeal of 18 June 1940. A painting will be dedicated to him at the opening of the ceremony and the crew of the only French aircraft carrier bearing his name will be represented on Place de la Concorde. A tribute all the more symbolic than two-thirds of the sailors of the Charles-de-Gaulle were contaminated with coronavirus during their last sea mission. Today all are cured.
Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg will be invited to salute their solidarity during the health crisis, including the treatment of French patients in their hospitals. In addition to respecting the health precautions in force, this restricted format allows “a certain economy, by avoiding an expensive parade”, it is argued in the entourage of the government.
In this year which marks the 75 years of the end of the Second World War, the ceremonies of May 8 had already taken place in small committee to limit the risks of spread of the virus. In Paris, Emmanuel Macron presided over a ceremony on an almost empty Place de l’Etoile while France was living its last days of confinement. Other countries have reduced the size of major official ceremonies under pressure from the Covid-19. On May 9, Vladimir Putin’s Russia commemorated the end of World War II without crowds in the streets, without foreign leaders, without his usual grandiose arms parade. Only the aerial part of the parade had been maintained.