In a show of European unity, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are in Verdun to lay a wreath in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of a battle that raged for more than 300 days and took 300,000 lives.
The French and German leaders have attended a series of events to commemorate those killed in the WWI campaign. They used the occasion to urge increased European unity in the face of many challenges.
President Francois Hollande has become the first French leader to attend the memorial service at Chemin des Dames in 100 years. The 1917 WWI battle was one of the deadliest and most disastrous in French history.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hailed Franco-German cooperation ahead of the centenary commemorations of the Battle of Verdun. Merkel said that despite differences the two neighbors' policies align.
A dawn cannon salute has commemorated Passchendaele, one of World War I's worst battles. Top envoys for Britain, Germany and Belgium attended ceremonies for the more than half a million killed and maimed.
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