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VIDEO: Fort Stewart marks Bastille Day

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Bastille Day, a French national holiday, was celebrated on Fort Stewart in a 25-minute ceremony held at Cashe Gardens on Thursday, July 14.

The decision to mark Bastille Day on Fort Stewart was suggested by 3rd Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Charles Costanza to honor Brig. Gen. Jean-Pierre Fague, deputy commanding general of readiness. As part of an exchange program between the U.S. and France, Fague serves with the 3rd ID — the only Army division that has a French deputy commanding general.

Fague said Bastille Day, also known as la fête nationale française or 14 juillet in France, is considered the French Fourth of July.

“We celebrate the capture of the Bastille, the central prison in Paris that was stormed by the population of Paris on the 14th of July, 1789, and was the starting point of the French Revolution,” he said.

He said the day also has another significance, as it was on July 14, 1918, that the 3rd ID started the Second Battle of the Marne, where the 3rd ID earned its nickname “Rock of the Marne” and the 3rd ID legend was born.He said the French and American militaries have been strong allies since the American Revolutionary War, when the French partnered with George Washington to gain independence from the British. He added that America shares the same values as France in pursuing freedom and justice for all.

“That still guides us today,” he said.

The ceremony was held during the installation’s retreat of the flag, signaling the end of the duty day. Both the American and French national anthems were played by the 3rd ID band, followed by remarks given by Fague, who spoke of the unity between the two countries.

Bastille Day
French Brig. Gen. Jean-Pierre Fague, deputy commanding general for the 3rd Infantry Division, along with U.S. soldiers, salutes during a Bastille Day commemoration hosted by the 3rd ID at Alwyn Cashe Memorial Garden in Fort Stewart, Georgia, on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Bastille Day, also known as la fête nationale française or 14 juillet in France, is the public holiday celebrating 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. Photo by Pfc. Summer Parish/U.S. Army