Local Polish communities mourn plane crash

April 10, 2010 5:03:14 PM PDT
Polish communities around the world are in mourning in the wake of the plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of other Polish leaders. One of the biggest such communities in the New York area is in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. At Saint Stanislaus Kostka Church, it was a mass like no other. One could feel the sense of loss as so many Polish-Americans in this tightly knit community began to grieve.

The plane was headed to Russia to go to Katyn, the site of a WW II massacre of Poles. Thousands of Polish prisoners of war, mostly army officers, were murdered there by the Soviets in 1940.

It's a tragic irony to Polish-Americans who have not forgotten that day in history.

Outside the Polish consulate in midtown Manhattan, mourners cane from all over the tri-state area to pay their respects. Flowers and candles lined the front of the building by midday.

New York's Polish consul general accepted her post here just two months ago. She says that if she hadn't, she almost certainly would have been on the doomed plane.

Also coming to the consulate were leaders from other countries, including the prime minister of the Czech Republic.