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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

Burning ban issued for Nelson area

All open burning is prohibited to reduce COVID-19 respiratory risk

LETTER: Health care workers are the unsung heroes of pandemic response

It’s not only doctors and nurses, says Dr. Kevin McKechnie

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

COVID-19 case confirmed at restaurant in Cache Creek: Interior Health

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

Most Read