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Poland Marks Centenary Of Independence


Officials, Nationalists Celebrate Poland's Centenary
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Poland is celebrating a century of independence on November 11, with ceremonies across the country and the national white-and-red flag fluttering from buildings and buses.

Poland regained its independence at the end of World War I in 1918, when the powers that had partitioned and ruled the Central European nation for more than a century -- the Prussian, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian empires -- collapsed.

The events in Poland coincide with a gathering of world leaders in Paris marking the centenary of the armistice that brought an end to the war that killed at least 10 million soldiers and millions of civilians.

Polish President Andrzej Duda attended a Mass early in the day and laid wreaths at monuments honoring Marshal Jozef Pilsudski and other fathers of the country's independence.

Meanwhile, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council and a former Polish prime minister, took part in a ceremony at a statue of Pilsudski in Warsaw, singing the national anthem with a crowd that gathered with them.

Later, some 200,000 people marched in Warsaw to mark the anniversary, including members of nationalist groups with some burning flares.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP