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France marks Battle of Verdun centenary


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France marks Battle of Verdun centenary

France has been marking the centenary of the World War I Battle of Verdun.

A re-enactment of the conflict featured the sound of shellfire.

The German Army launched its offensive against the symbolically important target of Verdun on February 21,1916.

It was the bloodiest battle of the war, second only to that of the Somme.

The fighting lasted almost until Christmas. 300,000 French and Germans were killed.

A memorial took two years of work and a twelve-million euro investment to complete.

“My father was a German solider in 1914,” said Luc Heinrich, “so a big part of this is in memory of him.”

“Tomorrow the young will have forgotten,” said one man dressed as a soldier. “But it’s thanks to these men that we are free.”

Sunday’s commemorations included old film footage, readings from different first-hand accounts of the battle, musical performances and a Mass.

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