Poland honours plane crash dead with new memorial

Sirens wailed and a military band played Poland`s national anthem as the country on Wednesday inaugurated a new memorial to the late president and 95 others killed in a plane crash earlier this year.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 21:20 PM IST

Warsaw: Sirens wailed and a
military band played Poland`s national anthem as the country
on Wednesday inaugurated a new memorial to the late president and 95
others killed in a plane crash earlier this year.

The inauguration at Warsaw`s Powazki military cemetery
came seven months after the April 10 plane crash in Russia
that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many other prominent
political and military figures.

New President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister
Donald Tusk gathered with relatives of those killed at the new
memorial - two huge granite slabs that look like airplane
wings entering the earth.

The ceremony began at 8:41 am (local time), the exact
time of the plane crash.

"It`s been seven months since the tragedy, loss and
pain was inflicted on the whole of Poland, the entire nation,"
Komorowski said. "It was a piercing pain for all of us, but
especially for the families, the relatives of those who died
in the plane crash near Smolensk."

Recalling the special feeling of national unity after
the crash, Komorowski called on the country to recapture that
spirit.

"I would like it to be the same today, that those who
lost loved ones feel that we are close to them," he said.

The late leader`s twin brother, Jaroslaw Kaczynski -
who is also the opposition leader - attended separate
observances, only after the official ceremony had ended.

He placed flowers in front of the presidential palace,
attended a Roman Catholic Mass and also placed a wreath at the
new memorial.

Kaczynski has harshly criticised the government, and
accused the Prime Minister of bearing some responsibility for
the plane crash. He has argued that the government did not do
enough to ensure the safety of the flight carrying his
brother, an accusation the government has rejected.

Bureau Report