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As Canadians mark Remembrance Day, world leaders warned of ‘old demons’ rising again

Click to play video: 'Macron rebukes nationalism calling it “a betrayal of patriotism”' Macron rebukes nationalism calling it “a betrayal of patriotism”
Macron rebukes nationalism in Armistice speech calling it "a betrayal of patriotism" – Nov 11, 2018

Nationalism ushered in the conflicts of the First World War.

Now, a century after the end of a horrific war that slaughtered millions, the same forces are reappearing around the world and are set to make for a prominent backdrop as ceremonies take place across Canada and all over the globe to mark the end of the First World War.

READ MORE: World leaders gather in Paris to mark end of World War One, to renew promise of peace

Ceremonies to commemorate the armistice are scheduled in cities and towns across the country today.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the sombre occasion in France as part of an international gathering of leaders whose countries suffered and sacrificed in a war triggered by nationalist conflicts more than a century ago.

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In the years since, the world has changed remarkably.

WATCH BELOW: World leaders march down Champs-Élysées in show of unity on centenary of Armistice
Click to play video: 'World leaders march down Champs-Élysées in show of unity on centenary of Armistice' World leaders march down Champs-Élysées in show of unity on centenary of Armistice
World leaders march down Champs-Élysées in show of unity on centenary of Armistice – Nov 11, 2018

Even between the start and end of the war, rapid technological and social change meant the places soldiers left behind and the ones to which they returned were not the same.

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But 100 years after the war ended, the same nationalist forces that propelled Europeans and, by extension, allies like Canada and the U.S. into the First World War can be seen spreading anew across a world grappling with the erosion of borders, economic uncertainty, social inequality and festering political divisions.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned of those forces in a speech to dozens of world leaders, including Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump.

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“I know there are old demons, which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death,” he said.

WATCH: Trudeau warns about attacks on media, threat of cynicism

Click to play video: 'Trudeau warns about attacks on media, threat of cynicism' Trudeau warns about attacks on media, threat of cynicism
Trudeau warns about attacks on media, threat of cynicism – Nov 11, 2018

He also took direct aim at nationalism in what many have interpreted as a pointed criticism of Trump himself, who was in the Paris crowd.

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” said Macron.

“Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying ‘our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values.”

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WATCH BELOW: Donald Trump arrives after other world leaders walked to Armistice ceremony in Paris

Click to play video: 'Donald Trump arrives after other world leaders to Armistice ceremony in Paris' Donald Trump arrives after other world leaders to Armistice ceremony in Paris
Donald Trump arrives after other world leaders to Armistice ceremony in Paris – Nov 11, 2018

The criticism also came on the heels of a barrage aimed at Trump on Saturday after he cancelled a visit to a cemetery near Paris where American soldiers who died in the war are laid to rest, citing “scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather.”

Mud and trench warfare were two of the hallmarks of the First World War.

WATCH BELOW: Armistice anniversary: Life in the trenches

Click to play video: 'Armistice anniversary:  Life in the trenches' Armistice anniversary: Life in the trenches
Armistice anniversary: Life in the trenches – Nov 9, 2018

The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, for example, is described by the Canadian War Museum as a battlefield transformed by “unceasing rain and shellfire” into a “vast bog of bodies, water-filled shell craters and mud in which the attack ground to a halt.”

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Advancing Canadian and Allied troops found themselves exposed as they tried to take the battlefield from the Germans, with mud bogging down their attack.

It was among the deadliest battles of the war, with 15,654 Canadians killed and 275,000 British casualties.

WATCH BELOW: Armistice anniversary: The gas attacks

Click to play video: 'Armistice anniversary:  The gas attacks' Armistice anniversary: The gas attacks
Armistice anniversary: The gas attacks – Nov 9, 2018

“The sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform — and by their families and loved ones here in Canada — were immense,” said Gov. Gen. Julie Payette in a statement commemorating the end of the First World War.

“Canadians fought bravely through the mud and the horror of war. Together, they formed some of the most effective units on the Western Front. And as such, they earned the respect and gratitude of all.”

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Payette will be presiding over the 2018 National Remembrance Day Ceremony taking place at the War Memorial in Ottawa.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will represent the Government of Canada in Trudeau’s absence.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will also be taking part in Remembrance Day events.

WATCH: World leaders promote peace in Paris 

Click to play video: 'Remembrance Day: World leaders promote peace in Paris' Remembrance Day: World leaders promote peace in Paris
Remembrance Day: World leaders promote peace in Paris – Nov 11, 2018

Scheer will be attending a ceremony at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton.

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Singh will be at the South Burnaby Legion’s Annual Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony.

Burnaby South is the federal riding in which Singh will run to try for office and gain a seat in the House of Commons.

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