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April 12, 2010

Poland in Mourning

On the morning of Saturday, April 10th, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and 94 other members of Poland's government and clergy were on a flight to Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Their airplane, a Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M, crashed in apparently heavy fog, clipping an antenna and breaking apart in a forest less than a mile from the airfield, killing all passengers and crew. Although observances took place around the world over the weekend, Poland today begins an official week-long period of mourning for the victims. President Lech Kaczynski will be buried alongside his wife on Saturday, according to Polish state television. (33 photos total)

Mourners arrive to light candles under a giant cross at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland, in memory of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski on April 11, 2010. Kaczynski, his wife Maria and leading members of the Polish military and government were killed when the presidential plane they were traveling in crashed while attempting to land at Smolensk, Russia on April 10th. The delegation was on its way to attend memorial services for the thousands of Polish military officers murdered by the Soviets during World War II at Katyn. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

This image from Polish Television's TVP via APTN shows a firefighter walking near some of the wreckage at the crash site where Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and some of the country's most prominent military and civilian leaders died Saturday April 10, 2010 along with dozens of others when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in near Smolensk in western Russia. (AP Photo/TVP via APTN) #

Pole Ian Grushinski grieves by a piece of the wreckage at a plane crash site near Smolensk, western Russia, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

Emergencies Ministry members carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of a Polish government Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft crash before loading it into a truck in Smolensk, Russia on April 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin) #

A Russian serviceman stands guard near part of the wreckage of a Polish government Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft that crashed near Smolensk airport April 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin) #

Two Russian policemen watch a helicopter carrying bodies from a Polish government Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft crash near Smolensk airport on April 10, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman lights a candle during a special service for the victims of the plane crash in Smolensk in a Catholic Cathedral in Moscow, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) #

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, foreground, and Polish Ambassador to Russia, Jerzy Bahr, attend the farewell ceremony for the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski at the Smolensk airport on Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

A girl scout lays flowers among candles left by mourners outside the Presidential Palace in memory of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski on April 11, 2010 in Warsaw, Poland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #

People pray in front of a Polish President Lech Kaczynski's coffin during a repatriation ceremony at the airport in Warsaw April 11, 2010. Poles were in deep mourning on Sunday after President Lech Kaczynski and many of the country's ruling elite were killed in a plane crash. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel) #

Daughter of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Marta, left, covers her face as Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw, second left, looks on during a ceremony after the arrival of the coffin with the late president at the military airport in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) #

Former Polish President Lech Walesa reacts during a Mass dedicated to the victims of the presidential plane crash in Gdansk, Poland, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Krzysztof Mystkowski) #

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signs the condolence book at the Polish embassy in Washington on April 11, 2010, one day after Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed in an airplane crash in Russia. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images) #

People mourn the deaths of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 other dignitaries during Sunday Memorial Services at Holy Trinity Polish Church Sunday, April 11, 2010, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) #

A child's drawing is surrounded by candles near the Presidential Palace in Warsaw April 12, 2010. Kaczynski's coffin returned home to a stunned nation on Sunday, a day after he and much of the country's political and military elite perished in a plane crash in Russia. (REUTERS/Ints Kalnins) #

David Hercik, 2, looks at the candles and flowers in a memorial for Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria at the gate of the Polish Embassy in Washington, Sunday, 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) #

Shipyard workers hold flowers as they offer their respect to the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria in front of the Gdansk Shipyard April 12, 2010. (REUTERS/Damian Kramski/Agencja Gazeta) #

A girl scout helps to arrange candles and flowers laid by mourners outside the Presidential Palace in memory of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski on April 11, 2010 in Warsaw, Poland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #

A soldier stands on duty in front of the presidential palace in the early hours on April 11, 2010 in Warsaw following the Polish government Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft crash near Smolensk airport. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman places flowers outside the Polish embassy on April 11, 2010 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #

A hearse carrying the coffin of Polish President Lech Kaczynski drives through downtown Warsaw, Poland on April 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Agencja Gazeta/Franciszek Mazur) #

A young boy signs a condolence book for Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, at the Polish Embassy in Washington, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) #

The Russian national flag flies at half mast above the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg during a day of national mourning for the victims of the weekend crash April 12, 2010. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk) #

Mourners lay candles and flowers outside the Presidential Palace in memory of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski on April 11, 2010 in Warsaw, Poland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #

Mourners attend a mass celebrated in the cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Wroclaw, Poland Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #

A woman lit by a sunbeam attends a Holy Mass in memory of Poland's President Lech Kaczynski, Orthodox Archbishop Miron Chodakowski and other officials who were killed in a plane crash Saturday, at a church in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo Petar Petrov) #

Thousands of colored candle holders are placed on the street in front of the President's palace, in Warsaw, Poland on Monday, April 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #

People look at a poster with photographs of victims of the April 10th plane, including Poland's late President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, in Warsaw, Poland on April 12, 2010. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel) #

Hungarians and Polish expats living in Hungary light candles while paying their last respects for the victims of the deadly Polish plane crash in Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky) #

A soldier stands guard near a sea of candles in front of the President Palace two days after Polish President Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash, in Warsaw, Monday, April 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #

Mourners hold candles for the victims of the Polish presidential plane crash on Saturday in Smolensk, Russia, in front of the Presidential palace in Warsaw, on Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #

Mourners lay candles and flowers outside the Presidential Palace in memory of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski on April 10, 2010 in Warsaw, Poland. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #

A man views candles as hundreds of thousands of Polish people gather to light candles and lay flowers in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw on April 11, 2010. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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