GG / Foundation Patron represents Australia at Armistice Centenary in France
In Paris on Sunday 11 November, 72 world leaders including US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove gathered at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe. Leaders walked together down the Champs-Elysee, arriving a few minutes after the official 11am centenary time.
Meanwhile at Villers-Bretonneux, 1500 people held a minute’s silence at the Australian National Memorial to honour the 416,000 Australians who enlisted for the Great War, and the 60,000 who never came home. Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester represented the Australian Government.
Later in the day, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe received in Paris the title of Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia from the Governor General of Australia Peter Cosgrove. The Prime Minister of France declared:
“We are neighbours, even if this is not something obvious when looking at a world map. We are neighbours because we fought on the same beaches and in the same trenches. We felt the same cold, the same fear and the same shock. We are neighbours today because we defend shared values: freedom, democracy and the respect for the rule of law”