Parade Will Go On, Poles Say

Polish Constitution Day Parade scheduled for May 1 will be held

By BJ Lutz
|  Monday, Apr 12, 2010  |  Updated 10:35 PM CDT
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The largest Polish parade outside of Warsaw will continue as scheduled, community leaders said Monday, despite a plane crash over the weekend that killed the Polish president, his wife, several high-ranking Polish officials and a Chicago artist.

President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria Kaczynski were expected to attend the Polish Constitution Day Parade on May 1.

Both were killed early Saturday when the plane they were in crashed in heavy fog over Western Russia. The group was headed to events marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, when thousands of Poles were slain by Soviet Secret Police.

"This team that investigates all the sites would have been here tomorrow afternoon," said Frank Spula, the President of the Polish American Congress.

Parade committee member Anna Zolkowski Sobor said it's too early to say how the parade will be adjusted, but said it will be held.

On Monday, students at the University of Illinois Chicago campus held candles and said prayers at a memorial service. Across town at the Polish National Alliance, at 6100 N. Cicero Ave., flags were flown at half-staff.

Many Poles in Chicago have also been applying for passports hoping to attend memorial services in Poland, but the Polish American Congress said there will be no blooking of flights until confirmation by the Polish government is received.

Kacyzynski's coffin will lie in state for public viewing beginning Tuesday. Investigators are suggesting human error was to blame for the crash.

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