U.S. troops will lead Bastille Day Parade

170712-N-ZZ999-927In an historic first, 200 American service members will lead Friday’s Bastille Day military parade along the Champs-Elysées in Paris to commemorate the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I. 

The U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen are assigned to units in Europe. American Air Force Thunderbirds and an F-22 will perform flyovers.

More than 3,700 people will take part in the parade, which will be attended by President Trump, France’s Macron and other dignitaries. The annual French holiday marks the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution.

“France stood with us during the American Revolution and that strategic partnership endures today,” said Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command. “On behalf of the 60,000 service members standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the French to ensure Europe is whole, free and at peace, we are honored to lead the Bastille Day Parade and help celebrate the French independence.”