11 kwi 2010

National mourning

So many things to write...

Unfortunately all 88 passengers and 8 members of the crew died. The body of the Polish president has been identified and transported to Warsaw today. Thousands of people came to say goodbye, give flowers or light a mourning candle (znicz on the photos). I also wanted to be at least for a while in front of the Presidential Palace (Pałac Prezydencki), in the crowd it's easier to not to feel the emptiness.

If you understand Polish I recommend you to watch today's Fakty TVN. It's a very good material and very sad.

This kind of a tragedy happened for the first time in the whole world. "The crash wiped out almost half of Poland's leadership. Those killed included Kaczynski, his wife, Maria, the army chief of staff, the head of the national bank, Poland's deputy foreign minister, 12 members of parliament, and at least two presidential aides" ("The Guardian"). Most of the senior staff in the presidential administrative office died. Not only officials were flying on that plane - also families of the officers killed in Katyń 70 years ago and chiefs of the veteran organizations. Here you can find the whole list.

We really appreciate a huge support from the Russian president, prime minister and all the services. Perhaps this incredibly difficult situation will warm up rather cool official relations between Poland and Russia.

In Poland we will have 7 days of national mourning. EU and our neighbours: Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia and Czech Republic decided to do the same (but shorter). We are surprised of the amazing support from Latin America: Venezuela, Colombia and Brasil (in which will also be national mourning!). Polish tragedy is on many newspaper covers but we really wish a different kind of promotion.

This week most of cultural events are cancelled, theatres and cinemas are closed, you will see many Polish flags with a pall. In the newspapers you will find many many obituaries (nekrolog). In radio and tv there will be no ads! Every flag will hang half-mast.

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