Macron to mark appeal that gave birth to French Resistance - InfoNews

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Macron to mark appeal that gave birth to French Resistance

French Alpha jets of the Patrouille de France and the UK Royal red arrows aerobatic planes spraying lines of smoke in the colors of the French flag fly over the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Thursday, June 18, 2020 as part of commemoration for the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle's radio appeal to his countrymen to resist Nazi occupation during WWII. French President Emmanuel Macron is traveling to London to mark the day that De Gaulle delivered his defiant broadcast 80 years ago urging his nation to fight on despite the fall of France. In a reflection of the importance of the event, the trip marks Macron's first international trip since France's lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
June 18, 2020 - 4:51 AM

LONDON - French leader Emmanuel Macron is set to mark Charles De Gaulle’s famed World War II appeal to resist the Nazis on Thursday in a special ceremony intended to invoke the deep friendship between the longtime allies.

The French president is travelling to London to mark the day that De Gaulle delivered his defiant broadcast 80 years ago urging his nation to fight on despite the fall of France. In a reflection of the importance of the event, the trip marks Macron’s first international trip since France's lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will receive Macron at his Clarence House home with a guard of honour formed by the Number 7 Company of the Coldstream Guards and their band.

British Red Arrow planes and French military jets zoomed over Paris on Thursday, trailing smoke in the blue-white-red colours of the French flag above the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides monument that houses Napoleon’s tomb.

The event on Thursday commemorates De Gaulle’s “Appel’’ via a BBC broadcast to his countrymen on June 18, 1940, urging them to fight on. The speech is widely considered to be the moment that gave birth to the French Resistance.

“I, General de Gaulle, currently in London, call upon the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who might end up here, with their weapons or without their weapons ... to get in touch with me,” De Gaulle said. “Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.”

The moment has huge significance for Macron, as he is eager to associate his presidency with the wartime leader.

Macron started the commemorative day by visiting a de Gaulle memorial in France.

On May 17, as France was just starting to ease virus-related restrictions, Macron went to northern France at the site of a battle, lost to Nazi Germany in 1940, in which De Gaulle took part.

Macron then celebrated France’s “spirit of resistance.”

The year 2020 also marks the 130th anniversary of De Gaulle’s birth and 50 years after his death.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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