11th day of 11th month: War dead honoured on Armistice Day

The bell of Parliament’s Big Ben clock tower sounded the hour in London

France’s President Emmanuel Macron stands in front of the Tomb of the Unknown soldier under the Arc de Triomphe during the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the end of World War I, in Paris, France, Saturday, Nov. 11. (Thibault Camus, Pool/AP)

Millions of people in Britain and France paused to remember the victims of war Saturday on Armistice Day, which marks the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Across Britain, people stopped in streets, squares and railway stations for two minutes of silence starting at 11 a.m. The moment — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — marked 99 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918.

In London, the bell of Parliament’s Big Ben clock tower sounded the hour for the first time since it was halted for repairs in August.

Many Britons wore red paper poppies, symbolizing the flowers that bloomed amid the carnage of World War I’s Western Front. Armistice Day originally commemorated the millions of who died in the Great War, but now also remembers those killed in World War II and subsequent conflicts.

Across the Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron led a solemn ceremony on Paris’ Champs-Elysees, laying a wreath at the statue of wartime French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, a key architect of peace between the great powers. Macron then inspected French troops and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe.

Former French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande also attended the ceremony, which attracted crowds despite the drizzle.

On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II, British political leaders and dignitaries will attend a Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph war memorial in London.

Next year France will host a grand Armistice centenary, marking 100 years since the war’s end in 1918 with envoys from 80 nations.

Poland also held events Saturday to celebrate nation’s Independence Day, when it regained its sovereignty at the end of World War I after being wiped off the map for more than a century.

Flags fluttered across the country and television news presenters wore pins in the colours of the national flag.

In Warsaw, Polish President Andrzej Duda oversaw ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, walking past a military guard before flags were raised and cannons rang out in a salute. After delivering a speech, he took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Bike sharing program rolls into Saanich

According to staff, U-Bicycle plans to make between 75 and 100 bicycles available in Saanich.

Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

Fire crews dispatched to the 1100-block shortly before noon Monday

Saanich teen helps save three people from the Gorge

53-year-old male who was submerged is expected to recover

Two puppies snatched from East Sooke home

Anyone with information asked to contact Sooke RCMP

New leader aims to grow Oak Bay Volunteer Services

About 200 volunteers offer about 500 residents with support services

Comox Valley Valley lotto ticket worth $2 million

Someone who purchased a lottery ticket in the Comox Valley was chanelling… Continue reading

Mayor says it could take “years” to replace EDPA

Mayor Richard Atwell said it will take Saanich “years” to replace a… Continue reading

America’s Musical Journey premieres at the IMAX

Enter to win tickets to an invite only concert at your community newspaper’s Facebook page

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Man dies in crash on Island Highway

Man thrown from his vehicle, alcohol believed to be a factor in accident near Parksville

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Most Read