April 2024
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Happy Bastille Day!

Today is Bastille Day the French national holiday celebrating the beginning of the French Revolution.

Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis the 16th’s Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king’s power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers.

Although the Bastille only held seven prisoners at the time of its capture, the storming of the prison was a symbol of liberty and the fight against oppression for all French citizens; like the French Tricolor Flag, it symbolized the Republic’s three ideals: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for all French citizens. It marked the end of absolute monarchy, the birth of the sovereign Nation, and, eventually, the creation of the (First) Republic, in 1792.

Bastille Day was declared the French national holiday on July 6, 1880, on Benjamin Raspail’s recommendation, when the new Republic was firmly entrenched. Bastille Day has such a strong signification for the French because the holiday symbolizes the birth of the Republic. As in the USA, where the signing of the Declaration of Independence signaled the start of the American Revolution, in France the storming of the Bastille began the Great Revolution. In both countries, the national holiday thus symbolizes the beginning of a new form of government.

On the one-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, delegates from every region of France proclaimed their allegiance to a single national community during the Fête de la Fédération in Paris – the first time in history that a people had claimed their right to self-determination.

Today, throughout France and many other countries around the world there will be numerous Bastille Day celebrations. If you live in an area that has Bastille Day celebrations and festivities be sure to join in and help our French Saigon Kids celebrate.

Storming of The Bastille July 14, 1789 – Part 1

Storming of The Bastille July 14, 1789 – Part 2

Storming of The Bastille July 14, 1789 – Part 3

I hope you enjoyed these videos and there reminder of the price our forefathers paid for the Liberty we enjoy today. I’m sure the first of my ancestors who come to America understood the price of Liberty. He was imprisoned in France simply because he was studying law, without the blessing of the rulers of his time. He escaped. Stowed away on a ship to America, arriving at Boston in 1735.

To all of our French Saigon Kids may you have a safe and wonderfully fantastic Bastille Day!  🙂

Bob on behalf of all Saigon Kids

10 comments to Happy Bastille Day!

  • mimi

    Hi all. In the name of all the french kids(who never write as you may have noticed..lol)I take on me to thank Bob for the instructive reminder of what the 14th of July stands for in France.

    So Bob, you are of french ascent…Hi cousin!…lol!

    other subject: I noticed that google adds is announcing to day that vietnamese girls are “on sale at bargain prices”. wow! Must be the moonsoon season sale!
    I am thinking of dropping google as a measure of protest!

    xxx to all. Mimi

  • Admin

    Thank you Mimi (now you are making me blush *wink*)

    OMG Mimi!! … we’re cousins??!!

    WOW, that means we became teenage Rednecks in Saigon! Cuz, only Rednecks are ‘kissing cousins’ … LOL … Now I know why my Mama told not to kiss French girls … ha ha ha 🙂

    Mimi don’t worry about those ‘cheap bargain priced vietnamese girls’ … they’ll all drown in the moonsoon floods .. leaving only you lovely,charming, sophisticated, exotic, sensual French girls to dazzle us guys and making us all Google Eyed … lol

    You and yours have a wonderful Bastille Day, Mimi! (but save the last dance for me … cousin … lol)

    Mai vos jours soient remplis avec le bonheur et joie toujours. 🙂 (said in my best ‘rusty’ French … lol)


  • Jean RUINET

    Thank you so, so much for your reminder.
    It’s pleasure and honour to be your cousin, Bob, and I hope to have soon the pleasure to meet you on the “Place de la Bastille” if you sometimes visit Paris.
    Best regards everybody,


  • Admin

    Jean!!! 🙂

    Thank you for your kind words.

    It is so good to see you here and to hear from you!! It has been so long since we last saw each other in Saigon (1961). I am honored that we are cousins, Jean. And, yes it would be so nice to visit once again and meet on the Place de la Bastille. Perhaps I will make it to Paris some day in the future. Maybe in future years sometime we can have a Saigon Kids Reunion in France. 🙂

    Jean, please keep in touch and visit here often.

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful Bastille Day holiday!

    Jusqu’à ce que nous nous réunissions encore …


  • frank stoddard

    I’m not your cousin. So where does that leave me? I know an old Elvis song!
    Je vous aime mon cheri! lol Just your basic conversational French.
    Actually Bob and I double-dated to the Bastille Celebration at the Cercle July 1960!! Remember Bob? I have the photos. Do you all want to see them? Penny and Vicki.
    Jean, I’m trying to remember. Blond or brunette? By the way, been to Paris six times in the last four years. I keep stepping on that damn brass plate at Notre Dame! Frank

  • frank stoddard

    I think…blonde!

  • Admin

    Yes Frank, I remember. But, I thought it was 1959 not 1960 … lol

    Time to show and tell, Frank … get out the pix!! LOL


  • mimi

    “JEAN” in french is a man’s name…you guys…lol!

    Jean is a dear friend of mine, that I have not heard from in several months( and was beginning to worry)I am glad he subscribed to the blog.

    For Jean: Salut Jean, tu pourrais donner des nouvelles de tps en tps, t’embrasse.

    To ken who asks about vietnameese spelling…it is nuoc mam, litterally water and fish, man being a small sardine.

    To those who wonder about the 33…it was made by the french Brasseries générales de l’Indochine,may be Pierre Bardouillet, whose father was the general manager of the BGI, could tell us where the name came from..but I doubt they had any dangerous chemical in it, as most of the french drank it also.

    I’m very impatient to see the rest of the videos, as I am not too familiar with the military compounds and bases we have seen so far.

    xxx to all. mimi

  • Admin

    Mimi … GREAT comments 🙂

    Since they cover several areas of previous posts, I’m going to copy them to a ‘Post’ so more people will see them, etc.

    Keep them coming …


  • Admin

    Frank said: “So where does that leave me?”

    Frank that leaves you “in the desert on a horse with no name” … ha ha ha 🙂


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