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Polish Mourners Gather to Honor President and First Lady

Posted on Apr 13, 2010
AP / Alik Keplicz

Marta Kaczynska kneels in front of her mother’s coffin at a ceremony at the airport in Warsaw on Tuesday. At right is Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who, with his wife and 94 others, died in a plane crash Saturday in Russia.

Throngs of Polish mourners gathered to pay their respects to their late President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria Kaczynska, whose bodies lay in closed coffins in Warsaw’s presidential palace Tuesday as the investigation into the plane crash that killed them and 94 others in Smolensk, Russia, continued.  —KA

Associated Press:

Parliament held a special observance in memory of the president and the 18 lawmakers killed in the plane crash. In the assembly hall, framed portraits of the lawmakers and flowers bedecked their now-empty seats.

The names of the victims were read out, and Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz, his voice breaking, declared the crash the “greatest tragedy in Poland’s postwar history.”

Investigators have suggested that human error may have been to blame in Saturday’s crash that killed the Polish president and 95 others. The Tu-154 went down while trying to land in dense fog at Smolensk in western Russia. All aboard were killed, including Kaczynski and dozens of Polish political, military and religious leaders.

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