Dead of two world wars remembered around globe | News | DW | 11.11.2012
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Dead of two world wars remembered around globe

Remembrance ceremonies for allied dead of the two world wars have been held in locations including France, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and New Zealand. November 11 marks the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.

In a novelty for remembrance of Britain's war dead, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny laid at wreath at Enniskillen in Northern Ireland on Sunday.

Kenny's gesture, which remains controversial in Ireland because of long past British troop abuses, came on the 25th anniversary of a 1987 bombing by the outlawed Irish Republican Army that killed 12 people in the town.

In a further sign of reconciliation, Deputy Premier Eamon Gilmore became the first Irish minister to attend a Remembrance Day service in Belfast.

Tens of thousands of Irish fought for Britain against German-led axes in both world wars, but independence-seeking Irish remained aloof.

Hollande honors Afghanistan fallen

In Paris, President Francois Hollande laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe to remember the 1.4 million French soldiers killed in WWI, many on battlefields in France, where troops of many nations died in trench warfare.

Close-up of two volunteers dressed in French and German WWI military outfits re-enact fraternizing on Armistice Day, at the military battlefield museum (Photo: REUTERS/Pascal Rosssignol)

More than 1 million French soldiers were killed in the war

Across France on Sunday, ceremonies were held at 800 locations. Hollande was accompanied in Paris by children of French soldiers killed recently in Afghanistan. Last year, his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, enlarged Remembrance Day to include all French war dead.

At a battlefield outdoor museum at Ablain Saint Nazaire in northern France, volunteers dressed in military outfits (photo above) re-enacted Armistice Day fraternizing at the close of World War I.

Tribute from Canada in Hong Kong

Visiting Hong Kong, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid tribute to some 290 Canadian troops killed when imperial Japanese forces overran the former British colony in December 1941.

"By their deaths, they made possible the freedom we enjoy, the democracy by which we govern ourselves and the justice under which we live," Harper told mourners at a hillside cemetery where 1,505 Commonwealth casualties are buried.

Japan's 1941 assault on Hong Kong began a day after its aircraft brought the United States into World War II by attacking Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Prince Charles in Auckland

Veterans sing at the Cenotaph, Martin Place (Photo: Craig Golding/Getty Images)

In Sydney Australian veterans remembered wartime trauma

Special guests at an Armistice Day ceremony at Auckland's War Memorial Museum in New Zealand on Sunday were Britain's visiting Prince Charles and wife Camilla.

They joined 300 dignitaries, including Maori elders, war veterans and politicians, to remember the more than 28,000 New Zealanders killed in both world wars.

Prince Charles laid a wreath before meeting war veterans who served in both world wars, Korea, former Malaya and Vietnam, and more recently in East Timor and Afghanistan.

In London, Queen Elizabeth laid a wreath at the city's Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Re-elected US President Barack Obama paid tribute on what Americans call Veterans Day at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Sunday. In his speech he thanked US veterans and current servicemen and women, including the 68,000 serving in Afghanistan.

Estimates of deaths on all sides during World War I amount to more than 10 million military personnel and 7 million civilians.

ipj/mkg (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)

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