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YPRES, Belgium – Where their countrymen once slaughtered each other with machine guns, artillery and poison gas, the leaders of Britain, Germany and the other member states of the European Union are gathering to solemnly mark the 100th anniversary of World War I and rededicate themselves to peace and working together.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy says "it will be a moving ceremony, because we are here, testifying to what Europe is: a project of peace, a project of solidarity, a project of cooperation."
At Thursday's proceedings in Ypres in western Flanders, where over a half-million soldiers died, EU leaders will attend the "Last Post," a bugle salute to the fallen performed each evening. They also will dedicate a memorial bench stamped with the word "peace" in the trade bloc's 24 official languages.