|Merkel and Hollande - the EU's corner-stone of unity|
The Verdun battle was one of the longest in World War I, lasting more than 300 days from February to December 1916, and its commemoration has come to signify the reconciliation between Germany and France after decades of hostility and distrust following two world wars.
“We are side by side to tackle the challenges of today and first of all the future of Europe, because, as we know disappointment was followed by disenchantment, and after doubts came suspicion, and for some even rejection or break-up,” Hollande said in a closing speech at the ceremony.
It was not until 1984 that the neighbours carried out a joint ceremony to mark the Verdun battle, another step towards ending decades of residual hostility.
Read more: Hollande and Merkel remember WWI dead 100 years after Verdun Battle - France 24