Skip to comments.Václav Havel Funeral Draws World Leaders and Hundreds of Mourners [No Bushes?]
Posted on 12/23/2011 12:03:58 PM PST by Steelfish
Václav Havel Funeral Draws World Leaders and Hundreds of Mourners Cameron, Clinton and Sarkozy at funeral of Czech Republic's first democratically elected president after Velvet Revolution
23 December 2011
Czechs and world leaders have paid an emotional tribute to Václav Havel at a pomp-filled funeral ceremony, ending a week of public grief and nostalgia over the death of the dissident playwright who led the 1989 revolution that ended four decades of communist rule.
Church bells tolled while a wailing siren brought the country to a standstill in a minute of silence for the nation's first democratically elected president after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution.
Havel's wife, Dagmar, family members, friends and leaders from dozens of countries gathered on Friday at the towering, gothic St Vitus Cathedral, which overlooks Prague. The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, were among some 1,000 mourners who bowed their heads in front of the coffin draped in the Czech colours.
In a message read at the funeral by the Vatican's former diplomatic representative in Prague, Pope Benedict XVI praised Havel. "Remembering how courageously Mr Havel defended human rights at a time when these were systematically denied to the people of your country, and paying tribute to his visionary leadership in forging a new democratic polity after the fall of the previous regime, I give thanks to God for the freedom that the people of the Czech Republic now enjoy," he said.
At the end of the ceremony, Havel's coffin was to be carried through the cathedral's Golden Gate to Strasnice crematorium for a private family funeral. The urn with Havel's ashes will be buried at his family's plot at the city's Vinohrady cemetery alongside his first wife, Olga, who died in 1996.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Oh yeah, let’s send Bush there so a bunch of leftists can protest his presence instead of celebrating Havel’s life. /s
I can tell you’re a lady that doesn’t beat aroud the Bush. :-)
Have I just not been paying attention or has Havel’s death and funeral been under reported?
They were real big on “stability”. And protecting us from Panama. The joke used to be, “Bush's only foreign policy failure was his inability to save communism.”
Havel wanted to appoint Frank Zappa Minister of Culture
His favorite album was Bongo Fury
Those were crazy and heady days in Prague
RIP President Havel... you were a man among men who gave hope to a long-suffering part of the world. Godspeed...
Yes they were... Havel was a cool guy.
I'd say it's been underreported. But given the fact he was anti-communist, in the world media's collective eye, that was a major point against him.
I think the latter. Our media aren't very interested in highlighting the accomplishments of a champion of liberty. I'm not a Clinton fan, but I think I'd rather have us represented at the state funeral by them than by the perpetually vacationing first couple.
I think the reporting on the two funerals is in proportion to the humility vs the narcissism...
The decency of Havel to the pure evil of Kimmy.
I guess bad guys make a better show.
I first visited Prague in 1971, just a few years after the Soviet invasion. It was like a living car museum with bat mobile Tatras... and cigarettes that could be bought singly (one at a time) and their great beer with no labels... and the churches packed... Very atmospheric... Everybody - 99.9% of Czeckoslvakian humanity - upon seeing I was a tourist - would sneak close and ask to buy hard currency (especially German Marks). Loudspeakers on the street making announcements and playing military music... pictures of Brevnev and Husak in every shop window... and (gulp!) some of the prettiest girls in the world.
Salute! Na sdravie (or something like that)
A life well lived. God’s speed dear man. God’s speed.
Kremlin conspicuously silent over Václav Havels death - December 19, 2011 - Neither Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, nor the countrys Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, nor Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has commented on the death of the first Czech President Václav Havel. In sharp contrast, Medvedev was quick to send his condolences to North Korea following news of the death of Kim Jong-il.
In the Russian state-controlled media there was scant mention of Havels passing. Just 28 seconds of the evening news on Russias First Chanel (Pervyi kanal, 1tv.ru) were dedicated to the news of his death, while Rossiskaya Gazeta, the official daily of the Russian government, carried a few formal lines without any comment from public figures, Russian or foreign.
Václav Havel slams undemocratic Russian regime - September 12, 2011 - Havel has described the current Russian regime as the harshest of all known forms of post-communist political systems, calling it a specific combination of old stereo types and a new business-mafia environment.
There can be no talk of democracy as long as the leaders of the state insult the dignity of citizens, control the judiciary, the mass media and manipulate election results, Havel wrote in Novaya gazeta, which has seen at least seven of its journalists and contributors killed since 2001, including Anna Politkovskaya and Anastasia Baburova.
The opposition should appeal to fellow citizens who through personal experience in the West have seen that democratic freedoms work, and call upon them to remember their roots and support the development of a civil society in their homeland, Havel concludes.
Yep, and I found the Czech people to be very cordial and pleasant.. and ditto on those beautiful women! The first phrase I learned there.. “Damci jeden pivo procim?” (May I have one beer please?”
I've heard a great deal more about that murdering monster Kim Jung-Il on the news than about Havel's life and death and his struggle to free his country from communism.
The Czech Republic may be one of my top SHTF destinations, although I’ve heard Prague has pretty much become one big tourist trap.
I’m certain Mr. Havel would be amused at the idea of a “pomp filled funeral”, what a breath of fresh air he was.
It’s interesting that here in Asia, the BBC news broadcast his funeral, but CNN International only mentioned it.
So yes, I’d say it was underreported in the US...
1971 was also my first visit to the Czech Republic. My parents fled in 1950, and it was the first time they were permitted to come back on a visa as US citizens. My memories are more of family members I was meeting for the first time and grandparents whom I got to see for the second time in my life. (They were permitted to visit us once they were old and defection was no longer an economic loss to the state). Over the years I made a number of visits. There is simply no comparison between the dreary, oppressive socialist years and those of restored liberty. Before WWII, this was a highly educated and industrialized nation in the heart of Europe. The losses under socialism were great on many levels. Productive enterprises were expropriated or destroyed, families torn apart, historic structures demolished or neglected until they collapsed, young people denied higher education. The list goes on. Unfortunately, many of these injustices cannot be resolved during our earthly lives. I hope justice will be served in the next world.
Sorry about your unpronounceable last name. (Just kiddin, I got one of those too.)
I love the Czech Republic which I visited several times in the past decade to see my pal who had defected from there in 1968. Unfortunately, he decided to return again to Switzerland, for, he says, political reasons, though I suspect family reasons, and he’s now appearing internationally under a Germanized name, unrelated phonetically to his Czech name. Go figure. The Czechs will recover.
No question in my mind that the nation will recover, and to a large extent already has. Some things can’t be fixed though. Families scattered across the planet, people who died waiting for freedom to return . . . such is the course of history. We move on and try to educate those around us to the folly of entrusting our future to powerful central governments.
Ciao Think free,
Visiting parents, you got to see the real deal, I just went on a school organized trip from Heidelberg, Germany as a tourist.
But shortly after the fall of Communism, I worked in many places in Czech Republic and even lived for a period in Slovakia so I breathed in the spirit of freedom, the happiness and also many of the troubles of the transformation. Both countries hold a special place in my heart.
The Czechs have a delightful figure called Jara Cimrman (the man who invented everything, but invariably showed up 5 minutes late at the patent office). The fictional character was voted their greatest national hero.
And in the same poll, the “worst Czech” was the Communist dictator Klement Gottwald (who like Lenin was put on permanent display after his death, except they botched the embalming and he turned black!)
Vessili Vianoce (or something like that)
To my mind it shows what sort of crazy and poetic people they are.
Anyone who lived their lives combating communism and socialism will be ignored by the media in their death. US media = PRAVDA = LIARS.
Please check my profile. I’m a guy. :)
LOL! Yes, sir.
I couldn’t have put it better. The damage has been done. West Germans had plenty of time to recover from WWII. It’ll take another generation for the East Europe (now called Central Europe) to recover from Yalta. I’ve seen the damage with my own eyes.