France celebrates Bastille Day July 14

Brooke Daniels, Editor-in-Chief

French President Francois Hollande, right, reviews the Republican Guard during the military parade on the Place de la Concorde during Bastille Day parade in Paris, Saturday, July 14, 2012. Bastille day is celebrated each year to acknowledge the French liberation from King Louis XVI. (AP Photo/Benoit Tessier, Pool)

Bastille day is the celebration of French liberation from King Louis XVI and the start of a democratic government after the storming of Bastille prison on July 14, 1789.

The prison of Bastille was a symbol of the monarchy and rule of the royals, so French revolutionaries decided to storm the location as a way of liberation from the tyrannical king. Not only did the revolutionaries seize the prison, but the government was also overthrown, leaving a democratic republic to rule now free France. This is much like the United States pursuance of freedom through the Revolutionary War and eventual constitution, liberating us from Great Britain.

Although a French holiday, Bastille Day is very similar to the 4th of July celebrated in America to symbolize the beginning of a democracy. Fete de la Federation, the official French title for Bastille day, was first held on July 14, 1790, marking the first day of celebration regarding the French people’s freedom.

In France, the day has come to be celebrated with military parades and parties to accentuate the freedom of the French people, much like July 4 for Americans. The goal of the storming of Bastille was to create reconciliation for all of France, promote unity, and pursue liberty from a monarchy, which is undoubtedly similar to the goals of the American revolutionaries.

This was the objective of the French people in 1789, and through the celebration of Fete de la Federation annually, they show that these are still important characteristics of France and always will be.

Whether you are French or American, July 14 provides a lot to celebrate for. Vive la France!