PARIS – From battlefields all over the world, where their soldiers fell 100 years ago, Winners and Defeated marked these victims before the ceasefire on Sunday and rated alliances dramatically redrawn since those dark days.
A century ago, the invasion of US forces in the First World War gave the impetus to their allies, including France and Britain. US President Donald Trump said on Saturday, as he began two days of remembering the 1914-1918 war, that his nation carries far too much of the burden to defend the West.
A revolt of diplomacy in the wake of the ceasefire once again turned Paris into the center of global attention, the jewel Germany sought to win in 1914 but wanted to defend the Allies. Dozens of heads of state arrived for solemn commemoration on Sunday.
After a clumsy meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump canceled a visit to the battlefield of Belleau Wood due to inclement weather. Macron went to a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A separate meeting between Trump and Merkel was not planned. Instead, Merkel pointed out that her nation's bloody history with France has become a close alliance, which is now the driving force of the European Union. She and Macron were to visit the place where the truce was signed in a railroad car in Compiegne, north of Paris.
In four years of battles fought over the brutal trench war and the first use of gas, France, the British Empire, Russia and the United States had the main armies opposed to a German-led coalition, including the Austro-Hungarian Hungarian and the Ottoman Empire belonged.
Almost 10 million soldiers died. France lost 1.4 million and Germany 2 million.
Despite a war that ended all wars, World War II put both sides against each other again.
Across the Western Front, leaders praised the courage of the soldiers killed during the unprecedented slaughter before meeting for dinner in Paris.
The truce came into effect in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, and on Sunday 69 world leaders will mark the 100th anniversary of the event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the triumphal arch in the center of Paris.
On Saturday morning, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to Vimy Ridge, the battlefield in northern France, where Canada found its self-confidence when it defeated the German opposition to the odds.
Trudeau stood amidst the white gravestones in front of an ash-gray sky and turned to the fallen. He said that what Canada has achieved in the past century is "a story built on your victim. They represent the values on which Canada was built. "
In southern Mons, the Canadians praised George Price, the last Commonwealth soldier who died in the war, when he was shot dead by a German sniper two minutes before the ceasefire.
Trump looked beyond the tragedy of death and destruction and asked in a tweet, "Is there anything better than the end of a war, especially one that was one of the bloodiest and worst of times?"
After his meeting with Macron Trump should head for the battlefield of Belleau Wood, 90 kilometers northeast of the capital. There, US troops had their breakthrough battle when they had stopped shortly after the war, a German push to Paris in 1917
The Battle of Belleau Wood proved equal to America's allies and enemies. By the end of the war, US forces were at least equal to all other large armies that were exhausted and exhausted.
Trump canceled his visit due to bad weather.
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