Paris [France]: United States President Donald Trump visited the Suresnes American Cemetery after he faced backlash from American citizens for canceling his visit in the morning.
“Exactly 100 years ago today on November 11, 1918, World War I came to an end. Thank God – It was a brutal war. Millions of American, French and Allied troops had fought with extraordinary skill and valour in one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history,” Trump said while paying his tribute to the “brave Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle”.
“It was beautiful,” the US President said while lauding French President Emmanuel Macron for the centennial commemoration of the Armistice Day, which the US President and First Lady Melania Trump attended along with other prominent world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“To all of the French military leaders and dignitaries in attendance with us now, thank you for joining us as we honour the American and French service members who shed their blood together in a horrible, horrible war known as the Great War,” he said.
Trump remarked that America is forever indebted to the contributions made by veterans, during the event which had six veterans from World War 2 present at the ceremony, along with members of the Congress and distinguished military leaders.
The US President also brought notice to a 13-year-old American citizen Matthew, who worked and saved all his money for two straight years to honour the American heroes of World War I in France.
“Matthew, Thank you. You make us very proud,” Trump told the 8th grader who was in attendance at the ceremony.
“Victory had come at a terrible cost,” the US President said while highlighting the loss of American lives during the first World War.
The US European Command’s Joint colour Guard flanked the President as he gave his speech on Sunday.
Trump further presented a flag to American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) chief Major General William M. Matz, Jr. to showcase the nation’s gratitude towards the agency for memorialising fallen American heroes.
The First World War had begun in 1914 and went on for four years. Known as the “war to end all wars’, an estimated eight million people died during the global catastrophe. The war finally ended on November 11, 1918, after an armistice agreement was signed between Germany and the Allies.