Sirens wail across Poland to commemorate presidential plane disaster

Sirens wailed at 8:41 a.m. across Poland on Sunday to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Smolensk air disaster, which killed 96 people, including Poland's then president Lech Kaczynski, during a landing attempt on a military airfield in western Russia.

On April 10, 2010, at 8:41 a.m., President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, the last President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, and dozens of senior government officials and military commanders were killed in the air disaster near Smolensk, Russia. The delegation was on its way to nearby Katyn to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Katyn Massacre, in which close to 22,000 Polish POWs, mainly army officers, policemen and administration staff, were murdered at the hands of the Soviets.

Commemorations of the disaster will be taking place all over Poland on Sunday. Planned are wreath-laying ceremonies, film screenings, concerts and religious ceremonies in memory of the victims.

Poland's ruling Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of the late president, will deliver an address at 9:00 p.m. in front of the Presidential palace in Warsaw.

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