France, Portugal mark centennial of WWI battle

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France, Portugal mark centennial of WWI battle
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa greet children during a World War One remembrance ceremony of the battle of la Lys at the WW1 Portuguese cemetery in Richebourg, northern France, Monday, April 9, 2018. (Pascal Rossignol/Pool via AP)

RICHEBOURG, France (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron and his Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa have marked the centennial of a World War I battle which helped allied nations stop a German offensive in the final year of hostilities.

The two leaders held a ceremony in northern France’s Richebourg, which was at the heart of the battle of the Lys, one of the countless fights where thousands lost their lives for precious little territorial gain.

In 1918, Germany made a major effort to finally make a breakthrough toward Paris and push British forces back to the English Channel. It failed because of the kind of resistance which Macron lauded on Monday.

He said, “A century after World War I, we meet to remember the commitment of thousands of Portuguese soldiers on French soil.”