Centenary of End of WWI Marked with Paris Ceremony

Centenary of End of WWI Marked with Paris Ceremony

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — precisely 100 years after fighting halted in the first world war — leaders from 70 nations gathered at the Arc de Triomphe to remember the millions who died in the conflict.

French President Emmanuel Macron and leaders from the majority of countries that sent troops or workers to the Western Front, met at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the arch to light the eternal flame that is rekindled every night at the memorial engraved with the words: “Here rests a French soldier who died for the nation.”

In his address Macron spoke about the sacrifices of lives made a century ago in the four years of carnage in Europe. He said “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were the last to arrive.

The ceremony, under rainy skies, also features cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singer Angelique Kidjo of the African nation of Benin and a bugler to break the minute of silence for remembrance.