Trump, who defends the idea of "America first" and said that he is proud to be a nationalist, ignored the event.
The Russian president is hoping his personal ties with Trump, who regularly touts their good relationship, will at some point yield a softening of the USA approach to his country.
It also underlined growing concerns over the reliability of USA security guarantees under Trump, and his wider commitment to a postwar global order the US was largely responsible for building and has benefited from, including economically.
In his speech Macron said "what is important for the future is the way this image will be interpreted": As the "symbol of durable peace between nations" or as "a picture of a last moment of unity before the world goes down in new disorder".
"Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism".
National security adviser John Bolton had said at one point that Putin and Trump would meet in Paris, but they will instead hold a formal sit-down later this month at a world leaders' summit in Buenos Aires.
Putin upstaged Trump by arriving at the ceremony last, after the American president and his wife had entered and Macron and other world leaders came together on buses.
The Kremlin said earlier that the prospect of a full meeting between the U.S. and Russian presidents had prompted huge global media interest, leading to concern from the French organisers that this could overshadow the commemorations.
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Sitting several seats away was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived at the ceremony separately as well. And you know what? I love our country", he said, adding: "You have nationalists. And I say, really, we're not supposed to use that word. In that treacherous forest and the surrounding fields, American Marines soldiers and allied forces fought, and they fought through hell to turn the tide of the war.
"We are gathered together at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to the fearless Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle", Trump said at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in the suburbs of Paris, where more than 1,500 Americans who died in the war are buried. "They gave everything for family, country, God and freedom", he said.
Trump was heavily criticised for cancelling a trip to Belleau Wood battlefield in northern France on Saturday due to rain, with some critics accusing him of disrespecting America's war dead.
President Trump didn't make a lot of friends in France - and he was there less than 48 hours.
The French leader also convened a "Paris Peace Forum" as part of the weekend's ceremonies, drawing worldwide organizations and nonprofits to discuss how to strengthen global governance. Afterward he flew back to Washington.
Speaking at Suresnes American Cemetery, Trump called out to six United States veterans from World War II who were in the crowd, and a 13-year-old American boy who had saved up to attend the event.
The geographical spread of the leaders in attendance showed how the "war to end all wars" left few corners of the earth untouched but which, little more than two decades later, was followed so quickly and catastrophically by the even deadlier World War Two.
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