The traditional army parade in Paris, for the national holiday of 14 July, will be replaced on Tuesday by a smaller ceremony honoring the military and civilians mobilized during the health crisis. Chaired by Emmanuel Macron, the theme is “a committed, united and supportive nation”.
The event will not be open to the public, but broadcast on television instead.
Multiple military units that have worked in the fight against the coronavirus within the framework of Operation Resilience, launched on 25 March by the President of the Republic, will be honored and highlighted: transport of masks, protection of sensitive sites, medical support.
The ceremony will end with a broader tribute to the health workers, to the sound of the Marseillaise.
In the stands, 2,500 guests, 1,400 of whom will represent the French people on the front line during the epidemic: carers, families of carers who died from the Covid-19, teachers, cashiers, funeral attendants, policemen, gendarmes, firemen, mask or test factory employees.
In a message published on Tuesday morning, Emmanuel Macron said, “On this 14-July, along with all the French people, I wish to to pay a vibrant tribute to the health personnel and to those who, in all sectors, have enabled public, social and economic life to continue.”
Four European countries – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg – will be symbolically represented, to thank them for having taken care of a total of 161 French patients in their hospitals when the intensive care units in eastern France were overwhelmed.
Some 20 helicopters and 50 aircraft will take part in the fly-past, including an A400M transport aircraft and an Air Force A330 tanker aircraft, used at the height of the health crisis to transfer patients suffering from Covid-19 to relieve congestion in the most saturated regions of France.
The Army Health Service (SSA) will be particularly honored. The SSA, which accounts for 1% of the healthcare supply in France, has taken care of 3% of resuscitation patients with the virus in its eight hospitals, by means of all-round interventions, while continuing to carry out its primary mission of providing medical support to the armed forces and their wounded.
The troops represented will also include the army medical regiment, which was mobilized to open a tented resuscitation medical structure in Mulhouse, and the 2nd dragoon regiment, specializing in nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical threats, which provided disinfection of military infrastructure and means of transport made available to patients suffering from Covid-19.