Leaders from 70 countries in Paris on Sunday joined French President Emmanuel Macron to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that brought World War I to an end. The ceremony, held at the Arc de Triomphe, honours the nearly 10 million soldiers killed during the 1914-’18 war.
The Armistice came into force at 11 am on November 11, 1918. United States President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among the leaders present.
Most leaders present arrived in coaches up the Champs Elysées from the presidential palace, The Guardian reported. They then walked together beside Macron and Angela Merkel to the Arc de Triomphe. However, some heads of state including Trump and Putin did not join them and arrived separately at the Arc de Triomphe.
Macron later addressed the leaders, calling for them fight “withdrawal, violence and domination”. “Let us build our hopes rather than playing our fears against each other,” he said. He also described nationalism as a “betrayal of patriotism”, BBC reported.
Later on Sunday, the French government will host the Paris Peace Forum, which aims to develop a multilateral approach to security and governance.
On Saturday, India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the Indian Armed Forces Memorial at Villers-Guislain to pay homage to Indian soldiers who fought during the war. The memorial was constructed by the Indian government.
Other ceremonies across the world
Australia hosted a ceremony at the National War Memorial in Canberra on Sunday, while an aircraft offloaded thousands of red paper poppies to mark the day, BBC reported.
New Zealand’s adminstration conducted a gun salute in the capital of Wellington.
In the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth attended a Festival of Remembrance to honour those who were killed in the war while the nation hosted several events to mark the day.