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Hundreds of Poles gathered in Trafalgar Square on Sunday April 18 for the funeral of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, Maria.

Members of the Polish community in London watched the live broadcast of the funeral from Warsaw on a giant screen, crying and holding small red and white flags, decorated with black banners.

As the mourners prayed, sitting on their knees and shedding tears, they remembered the late president as an “extraordinary leader who did it all for his country”.

Leading the ceremony, BBC presenter Kasia Madera introduced the Polish ambassador to London, Ms. Barbara Tuge – Erecińskav to the crowd, followed by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Mr. Miliband expressed his regrets for being unable to get to Poland, alongside Prince Charles. Their inability to get to Poland was due to the recent cancelling of all flights to and from the UK.

“A Part of London”

An ash cloud caused by the eruption of a volcano in Iceland recently led to the cancelling of most flights to and from various countries in Europe, including the UK.

Also present at the Trafalgar Square ceremony was the Deputy Mayor of London, Mr. Richard Barnes, who sent his condolences to the entire Polish population, starting with all the 100.000 Poles in the British capital.

“You are a part of London. I am proud to stretch my hands and heart to your sadness”, he said.

Before the live broadcast from Warsaw began, both the Polish and British national anthems were played. The first line of the Poles’ hymn says: “Poland will not perish while we are still alive”.

The Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, Maria Kaczynska, died on the 10th of April in a plane crash, alongside 94 other prominent names among which were Polish historians, politicians , leaders of the army and others from the financial sector.

by Denisa Morariu

Poles in London Mourn President Kaczynski


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