Today, President Lech Kaczynski's body came home to a country full of sorrow and worry. Twenty bodies have been identified so far and dozens more hope to be as they go through the wreckage.
The question: "What will happen now?" Key leaders and cabinet members, all of the top military generals along with some of the top historians and intellectuals lost their lives Saturday.
According to my Polish friends, the lower Parliament leader will take over as temporary President for the next 2 weeks and 60 days, then an election will take place to seat a new President. The elections were going to happen anyway in December and a real fight was starting to brew amongst candidates. Unfortunately, at least two were on the plane. It will be a very interesting two months.
Yesterday's wedding was beautiful even with the shadow of a national tragedy. After hours and hours of food and fun conversations with a few great Ausies, I went to bed at mid-night while the "youngens" were still whooping it up down stairs. (It is nice when your room is in the building as the wedding party!)
Today we went to church at 11 and in the middle of the service, at 12 noon everything stopped in Poland as air sirens sounded, for two full minutes, I echoed the whispered prayers of my Polish brothers and sisters for peace, guidance and new search for real Hope.
As we drove back 3 1/2 hours in heavy rain to Katowice, there was a feeling of doom as we approached the city. Everything was closed except for gas stations and McDonalds. It felt to me like the day of and after 9/11 when everything was closed and planes were not flying over head.
After I got home, I went up to my neighbors place to give my condolences and found out that they were friends with one of the passengers on the plane. This brought it much closer to me. I am not sure if we Americans fully understand how significant the loss is, here in Poland. It is more than tragic to have the "Head of Poland" chopped off twice in the same area of Katyn (the deaths of over 20,000 Polish officers and intellectuals by the Soviet Union). Click here for a pretty good article about Katyn and this weekend's tragedy.
Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort this country through the gift of the only Hope that will bring peace and comfort, your Son. Use this tragedy to bring many to your thrown and show them that Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life. Everything else is just vapor. Amen