Trump, world lead­ers to mark World War I cen­te­nary in Paris.

Sched­uled to visit Paris, mark event with Euro­pean lead­ers

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE BOYER

Pres­i­dent Trump de­parts for Paris on Fri­day to at­tend week­end cer­e­monies com­mem­o­rat­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the armistice that ended World War I.

In his first ma­jor trip since Tues­day’s midterm elec­tions, Mr. Trump will meet with French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron on Satur­day for dis­cus­sions on trade, se­cu­rity and other top­ics be­fore vis­it­ing the Bel­leau Wood bat­tle­field and its ad­ja­cent Aisne-Marne Amer­i­can Ceme­tery and Me­mo­rial. On Sun­day, Mr. Trump will at­tend an Armistice Day cer­e­mony at the Arc de Tri­om­phe in Paris with other world lead­ers.

“This is an his­toric op­por­tu­nity to honor the sac­ri­fices of those who gave their lives for our free­dom in that strug­gle,” said a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial.

Among the es­ti­mated 70 heads of state com­ing to Paris will be Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, but Mr. Trump isn’t ex­pected to meet with him un­til the G-20 sum­mit later this month in Ar­gentina.

“That’s where we’re ac­tu­ally look­ing for­ward to meet,” Mr. Trump said Wed­nes­day.

There ap­peared to be a few mixed mes­sages about the Paris gather­ing, which French of­fi­cials are try­ing to keep heav­ily fo­cused on the solem­nity of the oc­ca­sion. The Krem­lin on Wed­nes­day said Mr. Putin was ex­pected to speak at least briefly with Mr. Trump dur­ing Sun­day’s lunch.

And the Agence France-Presse news ser­vice re­ported this week that U.S. of­fi­cials have told the French gov­ern­ment that Mr. Trump will skip a con­fer­ence of lead­ers Mr. Macron plans over the week­end to dis­cuss democ­racy and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism. Along with Mr. Putin, lead­ers such as Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan and Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel will be at­tend­ing.

The armistice cer­e­mony marks the sur­ren­der of Ger­many to the al­lies, with the fight­ing ceas­ing at the 11th hour on the 11th day of Novem­ber 1918. The dead in­cluded more than 2,700 com­bat­ants who were killed on the fi­nal day of the war.

More than 116,000 Amer­i­cans died in the war, which the U.S. en­tered in 1917, three years af­ter it be­gan. An­other 200,000 U.S. troops were wounded.

World­wide, an es­ti­mated 9 mil­lion com­bat­ants and 7 mil­lion civil­ians died dur­ing four years of con­flict.

The Bat­tle of Bel­leau Wood, in north­ern France, is gen­er­ally rec­og­nized as the event from which the mod­ern U.S. Ma­rine Corps emerged. From June 6 to June 15, 1918, Ger­man forces coun­ter­at­tacked the Marines nine times, in­clud­ing mus­tard gas at­tacks. But by June 26, all of the Ger­mans had been driven from the bat­tle­field.

In about three weeks of fight­ing, the Marines’ 4th Brigade suf­fered about 4,000 ca­su­al­ties, in­clud­ing about 1,000 killed — more than half of the brigade’s orig­i­nal strength. It was the most ca­su­al­ties sus­tained by any U.S. brigade in the war.

In grat­i­tude, the French Army re­named Bel­leau Wood “Bois de la Brigade de Ma­rine” — Wood of the Ma­rine Brigade.

The se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said Mr. Trump’s visit will “serve as a re­minder of the im­por­tant role that the United States has played and con­tin­ues to play in en­sur­ing peace and se­cu­rity in Europe.”

“As we re­flect on the hor­rors of the first World War, in­clud­ing the use of chem­i­cal weapons, these events also serve as a timely re­minder of the en­dur­ing needs to de­fend against the use of chem­i­cal weapons even to­day,” the of­fi­cial said.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this photo from World War I, U.S. troops of the 107th Reg­i­ment In­fantry, 27th Di­vi­sion, ad­vance on a path through a barbed wire en­tan­gle­ment near Beauqueanes, Somme, France. Sun­day marks 100 years since the end of the war.

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