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100 years after Armistice, Gibraltar remembers

100 years after Armistice, Gibraltar remembers

On the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, two Gibraltarians piped in the Armistice Day dawn in a solemn act of remembrance for the millions who died in that conflict and in every war since.

Anthony Galliano and John Mascarenhas played Battles O’er at the Cross of Sacrifice, echoing fallen pipers who led troops into battle.

Photo by Mark Galliano

Photo by Mark Galliano

This was the first in a string of events in Gibraltar to commemorate the historic landmark.

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And all around the globe, similar events were taking place, including over 1,000 pipers from many different countries who all played at daybreak.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron led tributes to the millions of soldiers killed during WWI, holding an emotional ceremony in Paris attended by dozens of world leaders to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.

U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dozens of monarchs, princes, presidents and prime ministers joined Macron to mark the moment guns fell silent across Europe a century ago.

French President Emmanuel Macron is flanked by U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as he delivers a speech before a lunch at the Elysee Palace, during commemorations for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of World War One, in Paris, France, November 11, 2018. Jacques Demarthon/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron is flanked by U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as he delivers a speech before a lunch at the Elysee Palace, during commemorations for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of World War One, in Paris, France, November 11, 2018. Jacques Demarthon/Pool via REUTERS

Those who fought in the trenches of World War One lived through an unimaginable hell, Mr Macron said in a 20-minute address, highlighting that as well as the deaths of 10 million troops, millions of women were widowed and children orphaned.

“The lesson of the Great War cannot be that of resentment between peoples, nor should the past be forgotten,” said Mr Macron, sorrow etched on the faces of former French soldiers standing to attention around him.

“It is our deeply rooted obligation to think of the future, and to consider what is essential.”

The commemoration was the centrepiece of global tributes to honour those who died during the 1914-18 war and to commemorate the signing of the Armistice that brought the fighting to an end at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.

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At 11am in Gibraltar, the traditional Armistice Day wreaths were laid in the lobby of the Gibraltar Parliament.

While soldiers from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment stood guard outside, the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, was the first to lay a wreath.

The message on the card read: “With respect, with admiration, with gratitude; and with a determination never to forget.”

Also at the ceremony were the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, the Leader of the Opposition Elliott Phillips, the Speaker of Parliament Adolfo Canepa and other officials including the Mayor, Kaiane Aldorino Lopez.

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From there, the focus moved to the British War Memorial, where the Remembrance Sunday service was held in the presence of veterans and a large number of members of the public.

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A second ceremony was later held at the American War Memorial.

At night, a poppy was projected onto the walls of the Moorish Castle and a giant silhouette of the Tommy Figure, which represents all soldiers fallen in combat, was projected onto the north face of the Rock.

Speaking before the events, the Governor Lieutenant General Ed Davis said its was important to reflect on the wars of the past and redouble efforts to ensure such atrocious conflict never happens again.

“The price of peace will always be eternal strength and vigilance,” he said.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said that 100 years on, the message of remembrance was as important as ever.

He said the solemn acts of remembrance served as a warning to those who might forget “the price of war is paid in the lives of men and women who are lost to their families as a result”.

Wreaths cover the ground following the remembrance service at the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall, central London, on the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which marked the end of the First World War.  Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Wreaths cover the ground following the remembrance service at the Cenotaph memorial in Whitehall, central London, on the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which marked the end of the First World War.
Victoria Jones/PA Wire

In the UK, the Prince of Wales led the Royal Family’s tributes to the nation’s war dead, as the Queen looked on from a nearby balcony.

Charles laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of his mother for the second year in a row, while an equerry laid a wreath on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen viewed the service from the balcony of the nearby Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although Prince Philip was absent – one of the few times he has missed the occasion.

He was previously unable to attend in 1956, 1964, 1968 and 1999, a spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said.

The Monarch was flanked by the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge – while the Duchess of Sussex, the Countess of Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence stood on neighbouring balconies.

The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also laid a wreath on behalf of the German people.

It is the first time since the Cenotaph was inaugurated in 1920 that a representative of the country has taken part in the UK’s national service of remembrance.

Main photo by David Parody

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