Millennium Post

Leaders to mark 100 years of World War I end

Paris: A hundred years to the day since the guns fell silent, marking the end of World War I, dozens of world leaders will take part on Sunday in a solemn ceremony in France to remember the many who gave their lives between 1914 and 1918.

French President Emmanuel Macron will lead the international Armistice Day commemorations Sunday morning by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which lies at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, reports CNN.

As part of the ceremony, eight French high school students will read testimonies written by soldiers fighting on the Western Front in 1918, a Chinese worker serving in Normandy and a young French woman.

Classical musicians will play pieces by Bach and Ravel and award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo will perform a Togolese song celebrating unity.

Macron, who will deliver a speech in front of the assembled dignitaries, will later host a peace forum at which German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives the opening address.

Sunday's remembrances are the culmination of four years of commemorative events to mark one of the most tumultuous periods of the 20th Century.

Millions of soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what became known as the Great War, and as many more were injured.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are among those in Paris for the commemorations, which coincide with Veterans Day in the US. Some 117,000 American military personnel died in World War I.

The centenary of the Armistice is also being marked elsewhere in Europe.

In Britain, Queen Elizabeth II is expected to attend a wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday at the Cenotaph in central London.

The royal family, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will attend a national service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Meanwhile, events were also underway in Australia and Hong Kong to mark this day, Efe news reported.

Veterans and citizens gathered at various Remembrance Day events, in which commemorative wreaths and red poppies, the symbol of First World War remembrance for Commonwealth nations, were displayed on monuments and at cemeteries.

More than 60,000 Australians died during the four-year conflict, one of the deadliest in history. Approximately 37 million soldiers and civilians perished during the war.

In Hong Kong, a former British territory, hundreds of people gathered to observe two minutes of silence at the Cenotaph war memorial.

The first World War lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918.

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