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.
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?