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GALLERY: Bastille Day in Paris

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Fire works at Eiffel Tower in Paris during the Bastille Day

Military planes from French Air Force fly over Alexander III bridge during the annual Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France.  The annual celebration, known to the French as “La Fête Nationale,” is a nationwide holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the liberation of France marked by the storming of Bastille prison, where political prisoners were held for arbitrary reasons and had no chance of appeal at the hands of Louis XVI’s royal government. Because of this, Bastille became a symbol of the oppressive monarchy and was the reason why it was targeted by the people of Paris when they stormed the fortress on July 14, 1789. Though there were only seven prisoners held in Bastille that day, the revolt was hugely symbolic of liberation of the French public, which continues to be a central part of France’s core ideals which are represented by its three-color flag: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for all.

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