Crimson staff writer

Joshua L. Wang

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A Loaded Interruption

I can’t resist looking at the gun, its barrel hovering no more than six feet in front of me. The idea of bullets traveling near Mach 3 and fragmenting in my torso suddenly puts burst eardrums at the bottom of my list of worries.

Tricolor banners fly on le quatorze juillet (July 14th) in La Place de la Comédie in Montpellier, where a crowd has gathered to celebrate La Fête Nationale, or Bastille Day. The day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and the symbolic beginning of the modern nation of France.

Members of the French Foreign Legion march with practiced poise through La Place de la Comédie. Their pace is markedly slower than other French units. Because of this they are always the last unit marching in any parade.

Bastille Day

On July 14 in Montpellier, as throughout all of France, there is cause for celebration. La Fete Nationale, or French National Day, is celebrated in grand fashion with parades, formal military dress, fireworks, flags, and—of course—large crowds.

From the bell tower of the Basilica of St. Michel, which stands separate from the church, visitors can look down on the rest of the Gothic structure and the river Garonne beyond. The bell tower, which was constructed in the 15th century and stands 114 meters tall, is the highest point in Bordeaux.