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Macron To Mark Appeal That Gave Birth To French Resistance

macron to mark appeal that gave birth to french resistance


French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speech the industrial development laboratory at French drugmaker's vaccine unit Sanofi Pasteur plant in Marcy-l'Etoile, near Lyon, central France, Tuesday, June 16, 2020.The visit comes after rival pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca this weekend announced a deal to supply 400 million vaccine doses to EU countries, including France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, Pool)

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speech the industrial development laboratory at French drugmaker's vaccine unit Sanofi Pasteur plant in Marcy-l'Etoile, near Lyon, central France, Tuesday, June 16, 2020.The visit comes after rival pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca this weekend announced a deal to supply 400 million vaccine doses to EU countries, including France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, Pool)

LONDON (AP) — 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 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.

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

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The event on Thursday commemorates De Gaulle’s “Apel” 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.

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.

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