Happy Bastille Day!!

Today is Bastille Day, the anniversary of the 1789 storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris. This event spelled the end of rule by Monarchy in France and is viewed as the beginning of the French Revolution. In short, today is France’s version of our July 4th.

Being of French heritage (and I’m not ashamed to admit such, though it seldom is the most popular idea in the room), I invite you to enjoy a glass of fine French wine this afternoon. My friends will be treated to my annual rendition of “La Marseillaise”, sung at full volume so as to annoy Anglo-Saxons. :wink:

Now, before the inevitable “Cheese eating surrender monkeys” wisecracks start flying (and I fully expect them to start), I humbly wish to state the following:

I am proud of my French forebearers for coming to America’s aid during the War of Independence.

I am proud of my French bretheren who sacrificed almost an entire generation of their young men bravely resisting the enemy forces during World War I.

I am proud of the thousands upon thousands of French men and women who resisted the Nazi Occupation during World War II. In spite of their nation’s betrayal by an incompetent military leadership, these brave souls risked torture and horrible death for five long years as they rescued downed Allied airmen, assisted escaped prisoners of war, disrupted key communication and transportation lines in preparation for D-Day, assassinated ranking Nazi officials, and generally harassed, confounded and confused the occupying forces.

I am proud of the Free French forces fighting under General de Gaulle who made key contributions to the victory of the Allies.

I am proud of France’s gift to the United States of one of its most enduring landmarks- the Statue of Liberty.

I am proud of France’s significant cultural, scientific, medical, and philosophical contributions to mankind.

Any French Dopers out there?

Happy Bastille Day! I’ll uncork a bottle of champagne this evening. It’d be more fun to go storm a prision or bastion of some sort but I don’t have one handy, so I’ll just toast France with some champagne this evening.

And I always thought all those fireworks in France on July 14th were to celebrate the coming of my birthday, July 15!

However, I have always wished the worlds a Happy Bastille - and hope your find a tawdry French prisoner to celebrate with this evening!

I am not of French descent, but I am most definitely a francophile. I am astounded and saddened by the level of francophobia shown by so many Americans, and am happy I live in the bay area, where things French are greatly appreciated and loved.

Happy Bastille Day, France!

::starts slicing a baguette and some camembert::

Upon reflection, I think my favorite moment on movie history occurs in Casablanca. In this scene, the German officers are in Rick’s cafe singing their national anthem. In defiance, Victor Lazslo, the resistance leader, has the house band to play “La Marseillaise”. All the other patrons join him in singing a full-throated version of the song, drowning out the Germans and royally pissing the bastards off. That scene always makes me well up.

Of course, the Germans promptly force the cafe to shut down, but that scene is still so cool. I may watch Casablanca tonight.

I’m of French descent if you go waaaay back. My dad’s mother’s maiden name supposedly comes from a Norman name. I suspect I have later French ancestors as well, but have no proof.

Anyhoo, enough of an excuse for me. I had a red-white-and-blue sprinkled donut this morning to celebrate, and I plan to have some nice Cotes du Rhone wine tonight.

I’ll hum it too, but I suspect, with my singing, that will be more likely to annoy French people…

I am something of a Francophile, and all the things noted above are indeed something to be proud of . . . But I’ve never been able to get into the whole Bastille Day spirit, as the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution is one of the most shameful episodes of the country’s history. The crimes commited in the name of “egalitie, fraternitie, and libertie” were more horrific than anything Louis XVI ever could have dreamed of.

Eve, I agree with you about this sad chapter in French history, as well as other atrocious episodes committed by the French. I just have the view that every nation and culture has had moments that they are not too proud of upon historical reflection, and I choose to reflect upon the positive aspects of my ancestral home on this day.

**Happy Bastille Day **! Thanks to them for their support in the Revolutionary War which, IMHO, we could not have won without their assistance here and abroad. I recently read Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities and the vivid imagery are still close to my heart. Great asperations and horrible acts, so closely tied in history.
Anyway, thanks for the help.

made me laugh out loud. :smiley:

Nicodemus, credit for that line should go to the writers of The Simpsons. The immortal Groundskeeper Willie, IIRC, used that witticism to refer to the French.

This Saturday, Philadelphia is holding their Storming of the Bastille, with Eastern State Pen as the stunt double for the French prison.

Web site for info: http://www.easternstate.org/

I popped in last night to the celebration at the Alliance Française. Lots of *tricoleurs * and Allons enfants de la patrie

Not French, but I’ve always liked France as such, so I toast Bastille Day…

The French Revolution is so archetypal of revolutions in general, with the high ideals, the betrayals, the backslidings, the comebacks, the good ideas, the far-out ideas (Revolutionary Calendar???), failures, comebacks, rolling heads, etc. It’s fascinating.

AND on a lighter note it did provide the kickingest national anthem around. Look, the 4th of July has the American Republic incarnated in that old codger, Uncle Sam. The 14th has the French Republic incarnated in Marianne, a total babe. Now that’s style.