Armistice remembrances took place around the world on Thursday after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out ceremonies twelve months ago to mark the 1918 end of World War I. Dignitaries and government leaders across the Western Front in Europe stood still and pondered the losses of millions during the four-year war , whose end 103 years ago harboured the seeds of an equally cruel World War II a little over two decades later. In Paris, President Emmanuel Macron was joined by US Vice-President Kamala Harris on the Champs Elysees in a moving tribute to how France and the US stood shoulder to shoulder to force a retreating Germany into surrender on November 11, 1918. After a diplomatic spat over France losing a deal to sell submarines to Australia to the United States, Harris and Macron held arms during an open-air ceremony on a brisk sunny morning. Other allied nations, from the United Kingdom to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, also had ceremonies and moments of silence to mark Armistice Day. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres joined national dignitaries in two minutes of silence in the UK pavilion at the ongoing COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Under the Menin Gate in western Belgium’s Ypres, at the heart of the Flanders Fields where hundreds of thousands perished in the war, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stood amid the walls bearing the names of more than 54,000 fallen British and Commonwealth soldiers without known graves. “They shall not grow old,” said De Croo, quoting the war poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon to highlight how memories endure. World War II grenades, mortar found on Hong Kong hillside; hiking trail closed Across Britain, people paused in workplaces, streets and railway stations for two minutes of silence at 11am in memory of the country’s war dead. Parliament’s Big Ben bell, which was silenced for several years for repairs, was brought back to sound the hour with its deep bongs. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, joined hundreds of veterans for a ceremony at nearby Westminster Abbey, where she laid a cross amid red poppies, a long-standing symbol of remembrance. The Armistice Day silence has been observed in Britain since 1919, when King George V proclaimed that “all locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.” Why Jewish refugees endured torrid times in Hong Kong during World War II Last year, people were encouraged to mark the moment from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic. World War I pitted the armies of France, the British Empire, Russia and the US against a German-led coalition that included the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. Almost 10 million soldiers died, sometimes tens of thousands on a single day.