PARIS, FRANCE — World leaders meet Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged leaders marking the centenary of World War One Armistice to reject nationalism, this comes after police arrested six people involved in a plot to kill Macron.
“By saying ‘our interests first and never mind the others’ you stamp out the most precious thing a nation has — its moral values,” President Macron said.
Around 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians died in World War One from 1914 to 1918.
Russian president Vladimir Putin met with U.S. President Donald Trump. Putin told reporters his conversation with President Trump was short but went well.
French organizers changed the lunchtime seating arrangement at the last minute so President Trump and President Putin wouldn’t be seated next to each other.
The French leader and other leaders walked to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a memorial to France’s fallen under the Arc de Triomphe. Church bells rang throughout the city and the leaders were met with rain.
The French president gave a 20 minute speech; he called on leaders to “fight for peace.”
“Ruining this hope with a fascination for withdrawal, violence, or domination would be a mistake for which future generations would rightly find us responsible,” President Macron said.
Mr. Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a peace conference later in the day.
Mrs. Merkel also warned against nationalism. She said it had unfortunately gained ground in Europe among other parts of the world.
Mr. Trump did not attend this peace conference. But it was also attended by Mr. Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
President Trump visited a cemetery in Suresnes in western Paris; he said he went to pay tribute to brave Americans who died in World War I.
A group of activists staged protests outside some of these events. Early Sunday a topless female protester with the words “fake peacemaker” written on her chest came within a few feet of President Trump’s motorcade. The protester was taken into custody.
Commemoration services around the world
In Australia, a ceremony was held at the National War Memorial in Canberra, while in Adelaide an aircraft dropped thousands of red paper poppies.
During his speech in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke of the importance of remembrance, saying people need “to learn from the past, so that we can better navigate the changing currents of our own times.”
In India, people came together to remember the 74,000 troops who died fighting on the other side of the world.
“This was a war in which India was not directly involved, yet our soldiers fought world-over, just for the cause of peace,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Sunday.
In the United Kingdom, multiple special events will be held to mark the end of the 1914-18 conflict.
For the first time, members of the public chosen by ballot paid their respects at the national memorial in Whitehall, central London.