World

Macron marks Remembrance Day, 101 years since end of WWI

PTI Paris | Updated on November 11, 2019 Published on November 11, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron lights up the flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier next to French Armies Chief of Staff General Francois Lecointre during a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe as part of commemorations marking the 101st anniversary of the 11 November 1918 armistice, ending the First World War, in Paris, France November 11, 2019.   -  REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron marked Remembrance Day on Monday, by relighting the flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, below a spectacular giant Tricolor.

Greeted by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Macron inspected troops during the otherwise low-key ceremony marking 101 years since the Armistice that ended the combat of First World War. The rousing sound of military band brass music was slightly muffled by persistent rain for the hundreds of spectators thronging the Champs Elysees avenue, some of whom waved French flags.

The French leader will later inaugurate a monument for the hundreds of soldiers who died in foreign operations since 1963.

Commemorations were also underway in France’s wartime ally, Britain.

The Royal British Legion urged the nation to remember the 100th anniversary of the first two-minute silence observed on Armistice Day by shutting out modern technology and all distractions. “This year we’re asking the nation to pause — mute your phone, close your laptop, switch off the telly — for just two minutes and pay your respects to our Armed Forces community, past and present,” the legion said on its website. “Join us at 11 AM on 11 November for the two-minute silence.”

The HMS Queen Elizabeth held one of the many ceremonies taking place across Britain to mark the day. Posting a short video on Twitter the ship’s crew honoured the fallen by spelling out “Lest we Forget” on the aircraft carrier’s massive deck.

Britain’s largest ceremony took place on Sunday. The event in central London is traditionally held on the closest Sunday to the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11 am on November 11, 1918.

Queen Elizabeth II led the nation in remembering the war dead, as the political leaders paused campaigning for the December 12 election to take part in a sombre service in London.

The queen, dressed in black, watched from a balcony as her son and heir Prince Charles laid a wreath of scarlet poppies on the Cenotaph war memorial near Parliament. The 93-year-old monarch, who served as an army mechanic during World War II, performed the wreath-laying herself for most of her 67-year reign, but has cut back on her public duties.

Published on November 11, 2019
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