By Damon Mitchell • 08 May 2020 • 13:37
FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe in a simplified ceremony without spectators. He visited the statue of General Charles de Gaulle in Paris before attending a commemoration ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
De Gaulle led the Free French Forces during the war from London after his country had been invaded by Germany in 1940. France had been liberated in 1944.
Today’s traditional VE Day commemorations on the Champs-Elysées were pared-down without the usual parade along the avenue and the inspection of troops by the president. There were no spectators stands at the Place de l’Etoile. Instead, President Macron had invited the public to mark the occasion by putting out Tricolore flags at their windows.
Due to the fact lockdown is still in place, President Macron carried out the formalities accompanied only by a small group of other dignitaries, including his predecessors François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, the presidents of the National Assembly and Senate, Minister of the Armies Florence Parly and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. The military was represented by a few of its top-graded officers, including Chief of Defence François Lecointre.
President Macron had initially been expected to visit Moscow this year to mark the anniversary, however, the victory parade has been cancelled there due to the pandemic.
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