LIFE

World marks the centenary of the Great War Armistice

Total recall:Global leaders attending a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday; veterans taking part in an event in central London; and officials paying their respects at the war memorial in Kolkata.AFPLUDOVIC MARIN

Total recall:Global leaders attending a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday; veterans taking part in an event in central London; and officials paying their respects at the war memorial in Kolkata.AFPLUDOVIC MARIN  

World leaders gathered under driving rain in Paris on Sunday to lead global commemorations marking 100 years since the end of First World War, at a time of growing nationalism and diplomatic tensions.

Around 70 leaders, including U.S. and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, marked the centenary of the 1918 Armistice in the French capital at 11 a.m. local time (10:00 GMT).

After church bells rang out across France, the leaders sat together at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe for a memorial that included classical music and the reading aloud of letters by the First World War soldiers.

Call for peace

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a near 20-minute speech that called on his fellow leaders not to forget the lessons of the past and the hopes of people worldwide 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,” Mr. Macron told them.

He added: “Let us build our hopes rather than playing our fears against each other.”

The service concluded with the bugle call that was played at 11am on November 11, 1918 to signal the end of fighting on the Western Front.

Ceremonies in New Zealand, Australia, India, Hong Kong and Myanmar began a day of memorial events around the world.

The leaders of Commonwealth nations — whose forces were deployed under British command 100 years ago — also sounded a message of peace and hope for the world in the new century.

“This was a war in which India was not directly involved yet our soldiers fought world over, just for the cause of peace,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.

“For our tomorrows, they gave their today,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told people gathered at a ceremony in Canberra.

British PM Theresa May and Prince Charles, standing in for Queen Elizabeth, attended a separate remembrance event in London where thousands of well-wishers also paid their respects to fallen soldiers.

Meanwhile, the police arrested three topless protesters who approached the motorcade of Mr. Trump.

One of the protesters, who had slogans like “fake peacemakers” and “hypocrisy parade” written on their chests, got within metres of the motorcade after jumping over a barricade.

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