France marked the 100th anniversary of the end of world war I with nearly 70 world leaders in Paris on Thursday.
Several leaders, including German chancellor Angela merkel, U.S. President Donald trump, Russian President vladimir putin and Canadian prime minister Justin trudeau, attended the event. Britain, one of the Allies, held a separate memorial in London. New Zealand and Australia also hold relevant activities in their own countries.
On July 28, 1914, the austro-hungarian empire declared war on the kingdom of Serbia and the first world war began. In four years, nearly 65 million people went to war, and more than 1.5 billion people were involved in the war, accounting for three-quarters of the world’s population at the time.
On November 11, 1918, Germany signed an armistice with the supreme commander of the western front in compiegne, France.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, the British imperial war museum released a pieced together audio that recreated the sound of a minute on or around 11am on November 11, 1918, according to fox news.
Reports say there was a faint sound of gunfire in the last second or two before the truce went into effect. But with the 11-point armistice officially in place, all was quiet.
On November 10, French President Emmanuel macron and German chancellor Angela merkel arrived at compiegne, the site where the truce was signed, to unveil a monument to reconciliation, according to the guardian. The two also boarded a replica of the train that signed the 1918 armistice.
In November 1918, Germany surrendered and an armistice was signed with the Allies. By June 1940, however, Hitler “retaliated” by forcing France to sign the capitulation in the same place.
According to the Associated Press, it was the first time since 1940 that the two leaders had met at the site, and macron and merkel’s friendly gesture symbolized Europe’s transformation after two world wars.
In compiegne, macron said, “our Europe has enjoyed peace for 73 years. Peace in Europe is mainly because we want peace, and Germany and France want peace.
“There has always been a willingness, on behalf of Germany, to make every effort for a more peaceful world order, even though we know there is a long way to go,” she said.