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3rd Infantry Division celebrates Bastille Day
Bastille Day
Brig. Gen. Jean-Pierre Fague, the 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general for readiness and a member of the French Army, speaks at Fort Stewart's Bastille Day commemoration.

The French national holiday, Bastille Day, was celebrated on Fort Stewart in a ceremony Friday, July 14.

This marks the second year the 3rd ID has held the ceremony to honor French Brig. Gen. Jean-Pierre Fague, deputy commanding general of readiness. The 3rd ID is the only Army division with a French deputy commanding general as part of an exchange program between the U.S. and France.

Bastille Day, also known as la fête nationale française or 14 juillet, became an official public holiday for France in 1880. It marks the fall of the Bastille prison and fortress, an event credited with ushering in the French Revolution and the abolishment of feudalism.

On the morning of July 14, 1789, the people of Paris seized weapons from the armory at the Invalides and marched into the Bastille Fortress, where they broke out multiple prisoners who were held there.

“This day celebrates freedom and the values of the enlightenment that inspired the French Revolution and the Republic: democracy, individual freedoms and human rights, liberty and justice for all,” Fague said. “The French and American Revolutions were sisters, and the universal nature of these values is probably what inspired Benjamin Franklin, a founding father, when he said that each man has two countries, his own, and France.”

July 14 is also a significant day in the history of 3rd ID. On that day in 1918 the 3rd ID began the Second Battle of the Marne, where the 3rd ID earned its nickname “Rock of the Marne.”

Both countries’ militaries have been allies since the American Revolutionary War and have a partnership evident through historical global conflicts. 

The ceremony concluded with the firing of three artillery rounds signifying the lasting partnership between the 3rd ID and the 3rd French Division.

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