Fête Nationale (or to English speakers Bastille Day) is the biggest day in the French Year. Not only is it a time of family, friends and celebration but it is nearing the height of the tourist season. On quatorze juillet (14 July) large crowds gathered all across France to join in the celebration of LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÈ, FRATERNITÉ from Paris to the tiniest village in the Country. 

I find it highly unlikely that more than a very few of you out there can be unaware of the attack in Nice last Thursday. It is all over the media and I am not here to reiterate what has been said so many times. What I do want to say is that the French are all too aware. Yet paranoia is not a French attribute. We do not live in Fear. We will not give our Liberty, Equality nor our Fraternity to those who wish us harm, or for that matter to anyone. Three National days of mourning began on Saturday ending tonight. 

Just as we join ranks to celebrate, we also come together to mourn. At noon across France today were gatherings a few words from the maire (mayor), a moment of silence and usually concluded with The Marseillaise which is the National Anthem of France.

On Saturday I was in Carcassonne. While the flags were at half mast or in the case of smaller flags which could not be lowered a black ribbon was tied around the flag, life in France goes on. We refuse to live in fear. From the following photos you can see just how vibrant and lively the locals and tourists continued with their day. I was there for approximately five hours and saw two police making their rounds on foot which is normal. Take a look at a few photos from Place Carnot where I met my friends and of course, Saturday is a market day there.

Place Carnot, Carcassonne 16/07/2016
Le marché Place Carnot, Carcassonne
Le marché Place Carnot, Carcassonne 16/07/2016
Les Corbières 18/07/2016                                                                       
Les Corbières 18/07/2016                                                                        

There are times, like this, where it would be lovely to be a bit taller or perhaps in front? I had hoped to get some actual photos of the maire speaking. Alas, it was not possible and I do apologise. However, I did want to create this post that shows the resolution of the French people. Our gathering, like most, is outside the office of the mayor. Up those front stairs to where the first floor (where the balcony is) is the chambre de mariage (for weddings) and next to that are the offices of the mayor, his secretary and other members of the counsel. This is a rather large building and there are classrooms on both sides of these offices over two floors which is our village school. Regardless, that is another post. LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÈ, FRATERNITÉ 

Paix, bisous, et VIVE LA BELLE FRANCE!



21 thoughts on “VIVE LA FRANCE~

  1. Beautiful photography – and interesting article. Thanks for the personal addition to my education.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  2. We were also at out Marie where children from the Maternalle ,as well as adults ,observed the silence ,then to Muso for a glass of wine and beer.
    Life goes on ,keep writing . Love Barbara

  3. The senseless violence leaves me raw Lea, but yes we must stand together and send the message of strength and living life without fear. Thanks for sharing your post everyone is thinking of France. xxx

    1. Thank you Kath. In some countries, such events increase the paranoia and fractures in society expand. In France, we close rank.

  4. VIVE LA BELLE FRANCE! So beyond sad and terrible what is happening to our world. This post made me cry Lea. News today of more atrocities here in the US and in Germany and Japan. Peace & love to all~

  5. Inspiring photos, and most importantly ~ inspiring words and spirit, which fits so beautifully for what you’ve shown in your blog throughout and for the strength of the French themselves. Wishing you a great week ahead Léa.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I am often afraid my simple words do not adequately reflect my love for this Country and her people. A wonderful week to you my friend.

      1. I find your words/artistry does exactly what you intend, at a level of sincerity that comes direct from your words and post ~ well done Léa.

      2. If you only knew what that means to me. Perhaps I will get my book out there. Thank you Randall, you have made my day, my week…

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