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World leaders, royals and the public mark 100th anniversary of the Armistice
November 12, 2018, 1:04 pm

Thousands of people across the world gathered in capitals, beside monuments and in front of their leaders to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Services of remembrance were held in Australia, New Zealand and Commonwealth nations, as tens of thousands of people paused to reflect on the innumerable lives given to a conflict a century ago.

Some 12,000 people, including veterans and serving soldiers, gathered for a national ceremony of remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Commemorations started in the UK at dawn with hundreds of bagpipers across the country playing a lament at 6am.

In Paris, at the biggest of the events marking the occasion, over 100 world leaders and dignitaries walked towards the Arc de Triomphe to stand before the grave of the unknown soldier.

French president Emmanuel Macron made a speech warning against the dangers of nationalism, in what was interpreted as a veiled criticism of US President Donald Trump, who was among the gathered dignitaries.

Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Justin Trudeau were also present.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism," Mr Macron said.

"Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying 'Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,' you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values."

In the UK Prince Charles laid a wreath at the cenotaph in London on behalf of his mother. The Queen watched from a nearby balcony, flanked by the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall.

In an historic first Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German president, also laid a wreath during the ceremony. It is the first time that a German representative has done so.

Officials said that Mr Steinmeier's presence during the ceremony was a sign of the friendship that now exists between Germany and Britain.

Following the National Service of Remembrance at the cenotaph, 10,000 people marched past the monument and through London, in tribute to those who served in the First World War.

At 7pm on Sunday 1,000 beacons across the UK will also be lit to mark the occasion. Remembrance ceremonies were also held in Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and on a number of South Pacific Islands.

Source: The Independent

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