French President Emmanuel Macron marked Armistice Day on Monday in a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under Paris' Arc de Triomphe and by inaugurating a new memorial to those who fell during countless operations in the past seven decades.
Commemorating 101 years since the armistice that concluded the bloody trench warfare of World War I, Macron laid a garland, inspected the troops and also stopped by the nearby tomb of French wartime leader Georges Clemenceau. Also in attendance were former French Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, alongside other officials.
Later Monday, Macron was set to inaugurate a monument for the hundreds of soldiers who died in foreign operations since 1963. Since the 1960s, 549 French soldiers have died in 17 theaters of conflict, including 141 in Lebanon, 129 in Chad, 85 in Afghanistan and 78 in the former Yugoslavia.
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.
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.
Also, in London, campaigning officers took a break to pay their respects, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid a wreath during a service at St Peter’s Square, while Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attended a ceremony outside Islington Town Hall, in north London.
Queen Elizabeth II, dressed in black, watched from a balcony as her son and heir Prince Charles laid a wreath of scarlet poppies on the Cenotaph war memorial near the Parliament.
The 93-year-old monarch, who served as an army mechanic during World War II, performed the wreath-laying herself for most of her 67-year reign but has cut back on her public duties.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.