President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President to attend WWI centennial commemorations in Paris

2018-11-09

Friday, November 9, Vilnius – At the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, President Dalia Grybauskaitė will attend the end of World War I centennial commemorations in Paris on Sunday, November 11. One hundred years ago – on November 11 at 11 hours – the armistice was signed with Germany at Compiègne, north of Paris.

The commemoration ceremony will take place at the Arc de Triomphe, attended by 60 heads of state and leaders of global organizations. It was under the Arc de Triomphe that the French troops marched in 1918 after defeating the German army on the Western Front.

In his invitation to commemorate the armistice, President Emmanuel Macron has called to reflect on the current situation and reaffirm the strong and deep desire for peace.

The centennial will be marked with a military parade, La Marseillaise, tribute to WWI veteran flags, and homage to the fallen. The eternal flame will be relighted on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

School students will read out five WWI eyewitness accounts: letters written on 11 November 1918 by French, British, American, German, and Chinese soldiers. The European Union Youth Orchestra will perform several pieces of classical music.

World War I was one of the deadliest military conflicts in history, which killed 20 million people. Chemical weapons, including mustard gas, were first used in this war. The Great War ended in the fall of empires, the spread of the ideals of freedom, transparency, gender equality, and democracy. It resulted in favorable geopolitical conditions for the restoration of Lithuanian independence and the creation of new states.

The end of the war was finalized by the Treaty of the Versailles on 28 June 1919. More than a year on after the Declaration of Independence, the Versailles Treaty gave international recognition to Lithuania as a sovereign state. The West started to assist the young nation in the Lithuanian Wars of Independence.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.11.09 12:40

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