Skip to comments.Poland says goodbye to President (SEE PICTURES OF THE FUNERAL)
Posted on 04/18/2010 10:08:19 AM PDT by lizol
Poland says goodbye to president
Around 90,000 gathered in Krakow for the funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria.
After the funeral ceremony at St Mary's, which began at 14.00 CET, the funeral procession will begin at 15.30, making its way to Wawel Castle where, at 16.30, the coffins will be put into the specially built tomb.
Though presidents from the US, Germany and top European officials cancelled their trips to Poland following the persistence of the ash cloud over Polish air space, leaders from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Morocco and Azerbaijan are in the southern Polish city.
A time for reconciliation
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, once a close aid to John Paul II, led the funeral mass. Referring to the recent improvement in relations between Russia and Poland following the death of Lech Kaczynski, the cardinal welcomed President Dimitry Medvedev who was attending the service, and hoped the tragedy could be a force for rapprochement and reconciliation".
Around 700 VIPs sat inside the Basilica, while some 40,000 watched on large screens in the market square. Up to 50,000 people are watching the mass in other locations in Krakow, said Krakow police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski.
The police spokesman said the people were very quiet, with people in deep contemplation".
The homily, by Cardinal Angelo Sodano - who could not travel from the Vatican to Krakow because of the ash cloud closing air space - was read by Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk.
The mass ends with an address by acting president Bronislaw Komorowski.
Komorowski paid tribute to the presidential couple in front of the two coffins which had been placed on the alter. He expressed hope that the deaths of so many of Polands top military and politicians would "finally heal the wound of Katyn.
The coffins were then taken on military vehicles through flag-lined streets to the Silver Bell Tower at Wawel Castle where they will be laid to rest. Crowds broke into applause and shouted We thank you, Lech Kaczynski. At 17.10, the Zygmunt Bell sounded at the castle.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz then said liturgical farewell to Lech Kaczynski and Maria at Wawel Cathedral in front of guests including Georgian President Mikhail Sakaszwili, who delayed in arriving in Krakow in Rome, where flights were disrupted by the ash cloud.
President Dimitry Medvedev told reporters before he left Krakow after the funeral mass at St Marys Basilica: The tragedy that occurred near Smolensk has not left anyone indifferent. In our country it has sparked strong emotions."
He stressed that he hopes this helps build better Polish-Russian relations. (pg)
Thank you for the pics. Beautiful church! God Bless their family, their daughter and granddaughter looks terribly sad. Just brings tears to my eyes.
And no one is asking where are the black faces...
The Moroccans made it, but the Kenyan didn’t.
He couldn’t come because of the volcano - as they say.
Beautiful but sad pictures.
OK, who is the man in pictures 37, 42 and 43? Did the president have a twin brother?
Yes, they were twin brothers.
And 3 years ago one of them was the President, and the other one - the Prime Minister.
God favored Poland by causing the eruption that spared Poland the presence of BO.
thank you for all the moving pictures and articles you posted. It made us feel closer to Poland and her people.
Thanks for posting these lizol. My heart just breaks for the Polish people.
Thanks for posting those. I have been to Krakow and it is a beautiful city. This just breaks my heart.
Beautiful, poignant, very, VERY moving. Poland needs us now more than ever. I hope we are strong enough to come to their call.
Thank you for posting this. The MSM didn’t give it the time or respect it needed.
Thank you for these moving pictures.
So thankful this day wasn’t marred.
Where are Sharpton and Jesse (spit in the white folk’s food) Jackson to protest lack of representation of blacks?
A beautiful and loving tribute to a mother, father, twin brother, grandparents ... God rest their souls and may the family receive comfort knowing and seeing how much these people were loved and admired by all. It was moving and touching.
Thank you for sharing these pictures. Many of my dear friends
are second generation Polish. I would love to listen to the
elders talk of the old days. Seeing the procession brings to
mind the reverence of the stories I was able to hear.
God Bless Poland and her people.