France is holding ceremonies to commemorate the end of World War I amid tight security to prevent a fresh upsurge in street violence.
President Chirac paid tribute to the military at the Arc de Triomphe
President Jacques Chirac reviewed troops and greeted war veterans in central Paris on the public holiday.
Police say the rioting that erupted two weeks ago is now less intense and 463 vehicles were set ablaze overnight - one-third of the peak total.
But unrest persisted in impoverished immigrant communities around Paris.
Night curfews for youths are still in force in several areas.
Residents of suburban riot hotspots are expected to march through central Paris on Friday to call for an end to the violence.
On Thursday, Mr Chirac acknowledged that France had "undeniable problems" in poor city areas and must respond effectively.
"Whatever our origins we are all the children of the Republic and we can all expect the same rights," he said.
Meanwhile, eight police officers have been suspended after a young man was beaten up in a Paris suburb.
Police said two of the eight were suspected of illegally hitting the man arrested in La Courneuve, one of the riot hotspots.
The other six officers are also being investigated as suspected witnesses to the incident on 7 November.
Mr Chirac defended his use of state-of-emergency legislation, and said the priority was still to restore order.
Cabinet can declare state of emergency in all or part of the country
Regional leaders given exceptional powers to apply curfew
Breach of curfew could mean two-month jail sentence
Police can carry out raids on suspected weapons stockpiles
Interior minister can issue house-arrest warrants for those deemed dangerous to public safety
Public meeting places can be closed down
House searches possible day or night
Authorities can control media, film and theatre performances
Emergency can only be extended beyond 12 days if approved by parliament
"When the time is right and order has been re-established, all the lessons will have to be drawn from this crisis, and with a lot of courage and lucidity," Mr Chirac said in Paris.
"We need to respond strongly and quickly to the undeniable problems which many inhabitants of the deprived neighbourhoods surrounding our cities are facing."
He also called on parents of youngsters joining in the riots to "fulfil their responsibilities" and take them in hand.
The government declared a state of emergency in Paris and more than 30 other areas to help quell the unrest, in some areas using curfews to ban youths from the streets at night.
The nightly protests have gripped deprived areas where unemployment is rife and residents complain of racism and discrimination.
The unrest was first sparked by the deaths in the run-down Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois of two youths, who were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station.