Bri­tish, French re­mem­ber Armistice Day

War dead hon­ored at 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

LON­DON — Mil­lions of peo­ple in Britain and France paused to re­mem­ber the vic­tims of war Satur­day on Armistice Day, which marks the an­niver­sary of the end of World War I.

Across Britain, peo­ple stopped in streets, squares and rail­way sta­tions for two min­utes of si­lence start­ing at 11 a.m. lo­cal time. The mo­ment — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — marked 99 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918.

In Lon­don, the bell of Par­lia­ment’s Big Ben clock tower sounded the hour for the first time since it was halted for re­pairs in Au­gust.

Many Bri­tons wore red pa­per pop­pies, sym­bol­iz­ing the flow­ers that bloomed amid the car­nage of WWI’s West­ern Front. Armistice Day orig­i­nally com­mem­o­rated the mil­lions who died in the Great War but now also remembers those killed in World War II and subsequent con­flicts.

Across the Chan­nel, French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron led a solemn cer­e­mony on Paris’ Champs-El­y­sees, lay­ing a wreath at the statue of wartime French Prime Min­is­ter Ge­orges Cle­menceau, a key ar­chi­tect of peace be­tween the great powers. Macron then in­spected French troops and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Un­known Sol­dier at the Arc de Tri­om­phe.

For­mer French Pres­i­dents Ni­co­las Sarkozy and Fran­cois Hol­lande also at­tended the cer­e­mony, which at­tracted crowds de­spite the driz­zle.

On Sun­day, Queen El­iz­a­beth II, Bri­tish po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and dig­ni­taries will at­tend a re­mem­brance cer­e­mony at the Ceno­taph war memorial in Lon­don.

Next year France will host a grand Armistice cen­te­nary with en­voys from 80 na­tions.

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