Archive for Monday, April 19, 2010

Leader buried amid patriotic ceremony

April 19, 2010

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— Tens of thousands of Poles bade farewell to President Lech Kaczynski on Sunday at a state funeral filled with pomp, pride and an outpouring of patriotism that his divisive and unpopular leadership had never generated.

Mourners applauded and chanted “We thank you!” as the caskets bearing Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, were carried slowly past pale-toned Renaissance buildings for burial among kings and poets in the ancient Wawel Cathedral.

Many world leaders, including President Barack Obama, could not be there because their travel plans were wrecked by the plume of volcanic ash that blanketed Europe.

The funeral came eight days after the Polish air force Tupolev 154 crashed on approach to Smolensk, Russia. The worst tragedy to strike Poland since World War II killed the first couple and 94 other people.

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