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The Latest: Teens read out WWI letters at armistice ceremony

The Latest: Teens read out WWI letters at armistice ceremony

PARIS (AP) – The Latest on commemorations a century after the end of World War I (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Eight teenagers born in the 20th century are reading excerpts from people bearing witness to the end of World War I.

French and British soldiers, a Chinese worker, a French woman – all are represented in the excerpts , punctuated by closing music by a Togolese singer.

“As soon as I realize how happy I am, I think of my brother and sister, both victims of the war, and my eyes mist over,” wrote a French soldier, Alfred Roumiguieres. 

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11:45 a.m.

The feminist activist group Femen has claimed responsibility for topless protesters who disrupted U.S. President Donald Trump’s motorcade on its way to a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I.

One woman easily breached tight security along the Champs-Elysees avenue, walking on the midst of the motorcade and shouting “fake peace maker” as the cars passed.

Officers seized her afterwards.

At least one other topless protester also made it into the avenue, but was unable to reach the cars.

Femen’s topless protesters have repeatedly breached security around world leaders and major events, usually topless.

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11:10 a.m.

World leaders walked side by side to commemorate the end of World War I in a somber, rain-soaked line as bells finished tolling.

Arriving a few minutes late, they missed the exact moment to commemorate the armistice that ended World War I. Fighter jets passed overhead as the leaders walked to the Arc de Triomphe.

At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, the devastating war came to a close.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were expected to arrive separately for the commemorations.

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11 a.m.

World leaders have missed the exact moment to commemorate the armistice that ended World War I.

As bells rang across Europe’s Western Front, U.S. President Donald Trump headed toward the Arc de Triomphe as did buses filled with world leaders, but they were running late.

Many of the leaders, holding black umbrellas, stood in a line short of the monument.

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10:55 a.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump is headed to the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees. World leaders were following several minutes later in commemorations to mark 100 years since the moment World War I drew to an end.

Presidents and other dignitaries left the French presidential palace in buses, just a few minutes before the ceremony was supposed to begin at the Arc de Triomphe.

Trump headed separately to the memorial for security reasons, as did Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The war ended at precisely 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918 and Sunday’s ceremonies were intended to drive home the disaster that would befall the world should it stumble into another global war.

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10:35 a.m.

European Council head Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence by laying wreaths at monuments to key figures in rebuilding the country’s statehood after World War I.

Tusk placed flowers at the monument to the first state and armed forces leader, Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, by the Belvedere Palace where Pilsudski resided.

Tusk, an opponent of Poland’s right-wing government, said the political disputes about Poland’s future are “sometime too strong” but stressed that “our bond is much stronger and much more important, because it is you, Poland.”

He will also take part at a noon state ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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9:50 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte are welcoming dozens of world leaders at the French presidential palace before a ceremony in Paris marking Armistice Day.

Among dignitaries arriving are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Most of the heads of states and government will take a bus together to the nearby Arc de Triomphe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Others will go to the monument on their own for security reasons, including U.S. President Donald Trump.

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9:30 a.m.

Nothing is left to chance in the seating of world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe commemoration of the end of World War I.

French President Emmanuel Macron will be seated between his wife and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Russian President Vladimir Putin will sit to the left of Brigitte Macron, while President Donald Trump and his wife will be next to Merkel.

Among others facing them Sunday will be the French prime minister, the president of France’s legislative body, and Spanish King Felipe VI.

Rain threatens, but all the leaders will be beneath a canopy as they commemorate the moment 100 years ago when the slaughter of World War I finally stopped.

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9 a.m.

Poland is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its rebirth as an independent state with a multitude of events across the country, including marches and the national hymn being sung publicly in more than 600 towns.

Poland regained its independence at the end of World War I in 1918, reborn from the ashes of three defeated powers that had partitioned and ruled the Central European nation for 123 years.

The ceremonies in Poland coincide with world leaders gathering in Paris on Sunday to mark the armistice of what was then called the Great War.

Poland’s regained independence fulfilled the dreams of generations of patriots who had kept the language and culture alive despite foreign rule and repression. Yet Poland was to be invaded and occupied yet again in the 20th century

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8:50 a.m.

Commemorations are underway around the world to mark the moment 100 years ago when the slaughter of World War I finally stopped.

France, the epicenter of the first global conflict, was hosting the main international commemoration, pressing home the point that the world mustn’t stumble into war again, as it did so quickly and catastrophically with World War II

The more than 60 world leaders scheduled to gather at precisely 11 a.m., a century after the cease-fire, included those with the power to destroy humanity if it ever stumbled into the folly of a World War III.

The U.S. and Russian presidents were being joined by an array of leaders whose geographical spread showed how the “war to end all wars” left few corners of the globe untouched.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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