Macron leads ceremony marking end of WWII in Europe

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French President Emmanuel Macron reviews the troops during ceremonies marking Victory Day, Monday, May 8, 2023 in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron presides over ceremonies in Paris and Lyon celebrating victory over the Nazis and commemorating victims of the Holocaust and French resistance fighters in World War II. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron led the traditional ceremony on Paris’ Champs-Elysees Monday, commemorating the day that marked the end of World War II in Europe in 1945.

Flanked by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, Macron laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe monument. A brass band played the Marseillaise.

To limit disruptions amid ongoing opposition to Macron and his contested pension reforms, police banned gatherings around the area of the ceremony in the French capital, and in Lyon where the president traveled later in the day.

In Lyon, several streets were closed to traffic, some parking was prohibited and public transport disrupted.

Authorities are being vigilant to ensure that a “casserolade” or the loud banging of pots and pans in protest will not distract from the memorial ceremonies.

In Lyon, Macron paid to the French Resistance movement and one of its leaders, Jean Moulin. Macron visited Montluc prison, where Moulin was detained and tortured by the Gestapo.

Unions called for protests in some authorized zones of Lyon, where the sound of clanking pots and pans echoed despite police restrictions. Authorities dispersed the rowdiest elements of the protest with tear gas.