Bastille Day parade in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived standing in a military jeep and surrounded by cavalry – repeating a scene from his inauguration two months ago aimed at reinforcing a message that he heads an important military power.

But it came as a fierce row raged between Macron and his armed forces chief, General Pierre de Villiers, over proposed defense budget cuts that are part of his bid to put the French economy in order.

Trump arrived with his wife Melania in a black sedan to be greeted by French first lady Brigitte Macron.

At the parade, the two heads of state sat together in a stand applauding, pointing and touching each other on the arm as military aircraft flew overhead. Trump saluted as U.S. military personnel – some in World War One battledress – opened the march-past with the Arc de Triomphe in the background.

“Mr. Trump’s presence at my side is a sign of an enduring friendship and I want to thank him,” Macron said in a speech afterwards. “Nothing can ever separate us… I want to thank America for the choice made a hundred years ago”

By the end of the 1914-1918 war, more than a million U.S. troops were stationed in France alongside soldiers of French, British and other nationalities fighting Germany.

One marching group evoked another military landmark of Franco-American history, carrying a pennant marked “Fregate Lafayette”, a frigate of the French navy named after the 18th century French aristocrat general Marquis de Lafayette, who helped in the American Revolutionary War against the British.

For France, this year’s Bastille Day has an additional poignancy as the first anniversary of one of the deadliest Islamist militant attacks of the past few years.

After the parade, his first as President, Macron will head for the Mediterranean city of Nice, where he will join a commemoration for the 86 people who died when a Tunisian man drove a truck at a crowd on the waterfront a year ago. (Reuters)

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Fireworks explode in the sky above the Eiffel Tower

Fireworks explode in the sky above the Eiffel Tower, in a picture taken from the Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck, at the end of Bastille Day events in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

The Macrons and Trumps attend the parade

French President Emmanuel Macron (L), President Donald Trump, Macron’s wife Brigitte Macron and First Lady Melania Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Christophe Archambault/Pool/Reuters)

A woman waves French and American flags

A woman holds a French flag and an American flag during the traditional Bastille day military parade on the Champs-Elysees on July 14, 2017 in Paris France. Bastille Day, the French National day commemorates this year the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States of America into World War I. (Photo: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel during the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron on a large screen

Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are seen on a large screen during Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

People watch the parade

People watch Leclerc main battle tanks during the military parade during Bastille Day celebrations on Champs Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. (Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

The Cavalry Regiment parades

The Cavalry Regiment of the French Republican Guard parades during the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

A camouflaged special forces member participates

A camouflaged special forces member attends the traditional Bastille day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

Alpha jets fly over the Champs-Elysees

Alpha jets from the French Air Force Patrouille de France fly over the Champs-Elysees avenue during the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Soldiers hold German HK 416 assault rifles

Members of the Section Technique de l’Armee de Terre (Technical Section of the Army) hold German HK 416 assault rifles as they kneel beside an anti-tank missile during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. (Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images)

French and U.S. soldiers display their national flags

French and U.S. soldiers display their national flags at the end the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Michel Euler/AP)

Military planes fly over

Military planes fly over the Champs Elysees avenue during the traditional Bastille Day parade in Paris, France, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

The Macrons and Trumps regard festivities

French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters)

Tanks roll down the Champs-Elysee

Tanks roll down the Champs-Elysee avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in the background during the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

French soldiers march

French soldiers march down the Champs Elysees during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)

The Trumps and Macrons look out from the viewing stand

President Donald Trump, center left, and first lady Melania Trump, and French President Emmanuel Macron, center, and his wife Brigitte Macron look out from the viewing stand during Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

French Alpha jets fly over

French Alpha jets in a ‘Big Nine’ formation fly past during the annual Bastille Day parade in French capital Paris on July 14, 2017. (Photo: Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP/Getty Images)

French Republican Guards ride past the Arc de Triomphe

French Republican Guards ride their horse past the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Etienne Laurent, Pool via AP)

French soldiers march

French soldiers march down the Champs Elysees during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)

Tanks drive down the Champs Elysees

Tanks drive down the Champs Elysees avenue during the Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP)

Paris’ firefighters prepare to parade

Paris’ firefighters gather for the start of the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. (Photo: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

An spectator wears an Eiffel tower tattoo

An unidentified spectator wearing a tattoo depicting fireworks at the Eiffel tower that close Bastille Day, watches the military parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Matthieu Alexandre/AP)

Students of the Ecole Polytechnique participate

Students of the Ecole Polytechnique (French Special Military school of Polytechnique) take part in Friday’s Bastille Day celebrations and military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees on July 14, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo: Thierry Orban/Getty Images)

French police stand guard

French police stand guard as people wait to watch the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. (Photo: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. troops, wearing WWI helmets, participate

U.S. troops, with soldiers wearing WWI helmets, are seen prior to the start of the traditional Bastille day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters)

A French soldier waits on the Champs Elysees

A French soldier waits on the Champs Elysees avenue before Bastille Day parade in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Emmanuel Macron reviews an honor guard

French President Emmanuel Macron reviews an honor guard prior to the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Aerial view of the Arch of Triumph

An aerial view shows the Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) before the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. (Photo:Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images)