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France and Britain honour soldiers' sacrifices

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France and Britain honour soldiers' sacrifices


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has led tributes to those who died for their country during the First World War.

One of the two surviving veterans of the 1914-18 conflict, 109-year-old Lazare Ponticelli marked the armistice in a town just outside Paris.

In the capital, Sarkozy commemorated the fallen at a ceremony on the Champs Elysee, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Breaking with Armistice Day tradition, he spoke out at the Arc de Triomphe.

“Today, in remembering, we will celebrate the future. A future of peace, a future of brotherhood between nations, a future of understanding and of solidarity between people,” he said.
“This future has a name – Europe.”

In London, the Queen laid a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial, paying tribute to all Britain’s war dead since the First World War.

Senior politicians inculding Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair were also present.

For the first time Prince William also laid a wreath.

Other events took place elsewhere in the UK, Iraq and Afghanistan.

This year Remembrance Sunday fell exactly 89 years after the end of the First World War – Armistice Day.

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