Armistice Day observed

Millions of people in Britain and France paused to remember the victims of war Saturday on Armistice Day, which marks the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Across Britain, people stopped in streets, squares and railway stations for two minutes of silence starting at 11 a.m. The moment — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — marked 99 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918.

In London, the bell of Parliament’s Big Ben clock tower sounded the hour for the first time since it was halted for repairs in August.

Many Britons wore red paper poppies, symbolizing the flowers that bloomed amid the carnage of World War I’s Western Front. Armistice Day originally commemorated the millions of who died in the Great War, but now also remembers those killed in World War II and subsequent conflicts.

Across the Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron led a solemn ceremony on Paris’ Champs-Elysees, laying a wreath at the statue of wartime French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, a key architect of peace between the great powers. Macron then inspected French troops and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe.

Former French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande also attended the ceremony, which attracted crowds despite the drizzle.

On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II, British political leaders and dignitaries will attend a Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph war memorial in London.

Next year France will host a grand Armistice centenary, marking 100 years since the war’s end in 1918 with envoys from 80 nations. (AP)

Here’s a look at Armistice Day observations around the world.

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Armistice Day observed

Member of the Royal British Legion carries wooden crosses adorned with poppies at the Field of Remembrance in London, Britain, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

Headstones with lighted candles are pictured at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial on Nov. 11, 2017 in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, eastern France, during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War One. 3500 of the 14,246 graves at the necropolis were illuminated with candles.(Photo: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

People observe two minutes silence during a service at the Cenotaph to mark Armistice Day in London, Britain, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Armistice Day observed

A woman wearing a poppy print dress watches a parade during Armistice Day commemorations at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Britain, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

French President Emmanuel Macron stands at attention after laying a wreath in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I in Paris, France, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Francois Guillot/Pool/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

Messages are written on Crosses of Remembrance placed in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in central London on Nov. 11, 2017, the Armistice Day. On Armistice Day, many Britons wear a paper red poppy — symbolizing the poppies which grew on French and Belgian battlefields during World War I — in their lapels. (Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

The Armistice Day service at the War Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, Alrewas, UK on Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire via ZUMA Press)

Armistice Day observed

Britain’s Princess Anne, left, attends an Armistice Day ceremony under the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. The Menin Gate Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are not known. (Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP)

Armistice Day observed

Poppys are placed next to the names of the fallen during the annual Armistice Day Service at The National Memorial Arboretum on Nov. 11, 2017 in Alrewas, England. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Scots Guards Army Cadet Force member Nathan Skinner, 13, salutes in memory of those who have fallen in conflict, following a service of Remembrance at the Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance in East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Paper poppies fall from the ceiling of the Menin Gate during an Armistice Day ceremony in Ypres, Belgium on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. The Menin Gate Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient of World War I and whose graves are not known. (Photo: Virginia Mayo)

Armistice Day observed

The Duke of Gloucester (center) views the names of the fallen as he attends the annual Armistice Day Service at The National Memorial Arboretum on Nov. 11, 2017 in Alrewas, England. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

A member of the HMAS Waterhen and Royal Australian Navy Band plays The Last Post during the Remembrance Day Service held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Nov. 11, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Army, navy and RAF cadets stand to attention after a two-minute silence during the Western Front Association’s (WFA) annual service of remembrance on Armistice Day, at the Cenotaph in central London on Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

99-year-old World War II veteran Les Cherrington attends the annual Armistice Day Service at The National Memorial Arboretum on Nov. 11, 2017 in Alrewas, England. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

A member of the Royal British Legion salutes after laying a wreath at the war memorial during a service of remembrance at Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England on Nov.11, 2017. (Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Members of a Serbian military honour guard prepare for a wreath laying ceremony at the French military cemetery during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I, in Belgrade, Serbia, Nov. 112017. (Photo: Koca Sulejmanovic/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Armistice Day observed

An army cadet holds a poppy wreath during the Western Front Association service at the Cenotaph to remember servicemen and women killed conflict, in London, Britain, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

A veteran waves to the crowd as he arrives for Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

The Last Post ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Ypres Memorial at the Menenpoort in Ieper (Menin Gate, Ypres on the occasion of Armistice Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga via ZUMA Press)

Armistice Day observed

A man inspects plaques at the field of remembrance in Cardiff Castle ahead of the armistice day silence on Nov. 11, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales, England. (Photo: Mark Hawkins/Composed Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Britain’s Princess Anne, front center, walks down the steps of the Cross of Sacrifice at Tyne Cot cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Tyne Cot Cemetery is the resting place of 11,954 soldiers of the Commonwealth Forces from the First World War. (Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP)

Armistice Day observed

A poppy rests in the hand of a statue during the annual Armistice Day Service at The National Memorial Arboretum on Nov. 11, 2017 in Alrewas, England. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Serving servicemen and veterans gather at Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge where they observed a two minute silence as a mark of respect for the war dead on Nov. 11, 2017 in Spean Bridge, Scotland. (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

A photograph of a military veteran is attached to a wooden cross in the Field of Remembrance in London, Britain, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

Sri Lankan Navy soldiers stand in front of the War Memorial, during an event marking Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

Armistice Day observed

Poppies are projected onto the sails of the Opera House on Nov. 11, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

Armistice Day observed

Members of the Western Front Association stand at the Cenotaph in a service to remember servicemen and women killed conflict, in London, Britain, Nov. 11, 2017. (Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

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