World leaders mark WW1 Armistice centenary in Paris

Trump's arrival wasn't as smooth as expected, as it was disrupted by a topless protester who ran towards the US President's motorcade as it was approaching the Arc de Triomphe. Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled a similar distance by vehicle to a commemorative event in northern France.

More than 2,000 soldiers are buried at the World War I cemetery, many of whom died in the Battle of Belleau Wood.

The leaders of Commonwealth nations - whose forces were deployed under British command 100 years ago - also sounded a message of peace and hope for the world in the new century.

Kelly Magsamen, who served on the National Security Council under both Republican and a Democratic presidents, said it displayed "real low energy", for Trump "to not bother to honor the sacrifice of American soldiers in WWI due to some rain".

Interactive: What would you have done between 1914 and 1918?

In the past, Trump has appeared to side with the Russian president over his own intelligence agencies and ignored warnings from his national security advisors not to congratulate Putin on his reelection. Military jets streaked overhead, emitting red, white and blue smoke, the colors of France.

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 earth untouched but which, little more than two decades later, was followed so quickly and catastrophically by the even deadlier World War II.

And they heard the commemoration's host, French President Emmanuel Macron, warn about the fragility of peace and the dangers of nationalism: a theme that seemed directed, at least in part, at US President Donald Trump, who listened stony-faced.

Amid growing divisions in Europe that have strained the European Union, Macron defended that institution, along with the United Nations, and declared that the "spirit of cooperation" has "defended the common good of the world".

Gunman who killed 12 died from self-inflicted gunshot
Witnesses told CNN the attacker had a large handgun, wore a black trench coat and glasses and threw smoke grenades inside bar. All of the injured suffered cuts, bruises and other minor injuries in frantic attempts to escape the gunfire.

While praising France for "a wonderful two days", Trump described his rainy stop at the American cemetery at Suresnes as "the highlight of the trip".

Weather was reportedly light steady rain with low cloud and it is thought this prevented the presidential helicopter from travelling to the site, about 55 miles (80km) east of Paris on Saturday afternoon.

In the four years of fighting, remembered for brutal trench warfare and the first use of gas, France, the British empire, Russian Federation and the United States had the main armies opposing a German-led coalition that also included the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

The leaders of France, Germany and Canada managed to travel to various commemorations in France marking a century since the end of the war that killed nearly 10 million soldiers and many more civilians.

Around 10 million soldiers are generally estimated to have been killed during the fighting and more than double that number wounded overall.

The U.S. came late to the war, in April 1917, but over 1 1/2 years it became a key player and tipped the scales for the allies.

Even though Germany was at the heart of fighting in two world wars in the 20th century, the nation has become a beacon of European and global cooperation since.

With so many leaders in Paris, the commemoration also provoked a flurry of diplomacy on the sidelines, with conflict in Yemen and Syria among the hot-button issues. It was a Serb teenager, Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated the Austro-Hungarian crown prince in Sarajevo in 1914 to set off events which led to the outbreak of war.

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