Europe marks 70 years since Nazi defeat

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PARIS (AP) — Leaders and ordinary citizens across Europe today have been marking 70 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany, and the end of a war that ravaged the continent.

The Champs Elysees (shahmz ehl-ee-ZAY') in Paris was closed to traffic today, to make way for a procession of official motorcades and mounted military escorts to the Arc de Triomphe (ahrk dih tree-OHMPF') -- site of France's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. ambassador to France joined France's foreign minister in laying a wreath at the tomb.

Photos from 70 years ago show massive crowds of Parisians filling the Champs Elysees to celebrate the Nazi surrender after nearly five years of occupation.

In London, all of Britain's party leaders lined up in front of a war monument, holding wreaths of red poppies and observing a moment's silence in honor of those who died in World War II. Taking part were Prime Minister David Cameron as well as the party leaders who were defeated by his Conservatives in yesterday's elections.

But there are still reminders that the East-West alliance that defeated Hitler is deeply divided today. Russia is celebrating Soviet wartime feats in a ceremony tomorrow that is causing diplomatic tensions because of the country's role in Ukraine's conflict.

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APPHOTO FRAH109: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris, France, Friday, May 8, 2015, during France's 70th anniversary of VE Day. Kerry has also visited Sri Lanka, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia on his trip. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) (8 May 2015)

<<APPHOTO FRAH109 (05/08/15)££

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