BUFFALO, NY; KRAKOW, POLAND ( WKBW / ABC ) The late President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife Maria were laid to rest today after losing their lives in a deadly plane crash last weekend.
While a funeral Mass was being celebrated in Poland, another special Mass was being celebrated at Corpus Christi Church in the heart of Buffalo's Polonia district on the east side. Organizers planned the service to be held at the same time services were scheduled at Saint Mary's Basilica in Krakow's Old Town in Poland.
Jim Serafin, President of the Buffalo-Rezeszow Sister Cities group told Eyewitness News, "the country is stunned. People are walking around like zombies from what I can see, and rightfully so. The cream of the crop passed away on that plane."
Mourners around the world watched the funeral, and people everywhere are trying to make sense of the tragic loss.
Mr. Serafin commented from Corpus Christi Church on Sunday, saying, "It's like Air Force One going down, but even worse because even more people of higher rank...the head of the ( Polish ) Army, Air Force, the head of the Polish National Bank, Bishops...I mean, we had a loss. By today's standards they should not have been on the same plane together based on what we know about terrorism."
At Corpus Christi Church, a book of condolences was open for people to sign. The book will be open for signing at Buffalo's City Hall this week, then will be sent directly to officials in Poland.
President Kaczynski's twin brother was at the front the church in Poland to help lead the services.
Investigators say the April 10th plane crash was likely due to human error. The plane went down in heavy fog while en route to Russia for special ceremonies.
Despite these tragic losses, Jim Serafin believes that the strength of the Polish spirit will get people through, noting "The Polish national anthem says the Polish will never perish, as long as we're alive, and Poles believe that."