Current and former leaders from Europe and beyond are gathering in Strasbourg, France to bid farewell to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died June 16 at 87. The ceremony today at the European Parliament’s seat in Strasbourg, close to the border with Germany, was deemed fitting for a chancellor whose biggest achievements included helping unite Europe.
It is the first time such a memorial for a national leader is being held at the European level. Among the speakers are EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, former US President Bill Clinton, French President Emmanuel Macron and current German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Juncker described Kohl as “a German patriot and at the same time a European patriot.” Kohl will be buried later today following a mass in the German city of Speyer.