France to honour Australia and New Zealand during historic Bastille Day

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Vergennes, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

    Oct 10, 2015
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    Australia and New Zealand will be France's guests of honour at this year's Bastille Day celebrations in recognition of their sacrifice in the 1916 Battle of the Somme, officials said Thursday.

    Around 150 Australians and 85 New Zealanders will take part in the traditional July 14 parade down the Champs Elysees, including Maori soldiers, according to an aide to the military governor of Paris, Bruno Le Ray.

    The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) suffered more than 30,000 casualties in the Battle of the Somme, and their sacrifice remains deeply etched in the collective memory of the two countries.

    The honour comes as France deepens its ties with Australia, where it clinched a 34-billion-euro ($39 billion) contract in April to design and build the country's next generation of submarines.

    With France still on high alert for jihadist attacks the Bastille Day parade will take place under tight security, both on the ground and in the air.

    A total of 3,239 people will take part in the parade on foot and 241 on horseback, along with 212 vehicles, 55 planes and 30 helicopters.