The Times-Tribune

Macron marks Armistice Day

The French president holds wreath-laying, inspects troops.

- BY THOMAS ADAMSON

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron led Armistice Day commemorat­ions on Monday by visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, as a giant tricolor flag flew overhead.

Greeted by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Macron laid a wreath and inspected troops during the ceremony celebratin­g 101 years since the armistice that ended the slaughter of World War I.

Music from a military brass band was slightly muffled by persistent rain for the hundreds of spectators — including former French Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy — thronging the Champs Elysees avenue. Some waved French flags.

Macron later inaugurate­d a bronze sculpture and a memorial wall in the Andre-citroën park, as a monument to the 549 French soldiers who died in foreign operations since 1963. They died in 17 theaters of conflict including 141 in Lebanon, 129 in Chad, 85 in Afghanista­n and 78 in the former Yugoslavia.

“On this wall, in stone, we have engraved your memory,” a solemn Macron said.

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.

A lone musician at the National Memorial Arboretum played “The Last Post,” as silence fell. People at ceremonies across the country bowed their heads in respect.

In a short break from campaignin­g for the Dec. 12 elections, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid a wreath during a service at St. Peter’s Square, Wolverhamp­ton, while Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a ceremony outside Islington Town Hall, north London.

Britain’s largest ceremony took place Sunday.

 ?? LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL VIA AP ?? French President Emmanuel Macron lights the flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier next to French Armies Chief of Staff Gen. Francois Lecointre under the Arc de Triomphe during commemorat­ions marking the 101st anniversar­y of the 1918 armistice, ending World War I, in Paris on Monday.
LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL VIA AP French President Emmanuel Macron lights the flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier next to French Armies Chief of Staff Gen. Francois Lecointre under the Arc de Triomphe during commemorat­ions marking the 101st anniversar­y of the 1918 armistice, ending World War I, in Paris on Monday.
 ?? LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL VIA AP ?? Soldiers of the “Commandos Marine” special force attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe during commemorat­ions marking the 101st anniversar­y of the 1918 armistice, ending World War I, in Paris.
LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL VIA AP Soldiers of the “Commandos Marine” special force attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe during commemorat­ions marking the 101st anniversar­y of the 1918 armistice, ending World War I, in Paris.

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