April 9, 2018 / 12:28 PM / 6 months ago

Macron honours Portuguese soldiers killed in WW1 battle

RICHEBOURG, FRANCE (Reuters) - Hundreds of Portuguese soldiers who died on French soil 100 years ago during World War One were remembered on Monday at a ceremony attended by both countries’ presidents.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa greet children as they attend a World War One remembrance ceremony of the battle of la Lys at the WW1 Portuguese cemetery in Richebourg, France, April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/Pool

More than 7,400 Portuguese soldiers fighting for the allied forces were killed, wounded or taken prisoner by German troops during the Battle of Lys in April 1918.

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“We must not allow ourselves to take for granted the Europe in which we live, as if it were just the result of what we have built together and not of spilled blood,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during the ceremony at the Richebourg cemetery in northern France.

“And at a time when Europe doubts itself, at a time when some people express their fears for the future by putting their faith in the hands of leaders who feed of this anguish, we must remember and salute their achievements,” he added.

The Battle of the Lys was part of a German offensive that tried and failed to force Britain out of the war.

Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Richard Lough and Andrew Heavens

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