Thousands of miles away from the grieving nation of Poland, hundreds of residents from the City of Thunder Bay came together on Thursday to pay their respects and mourn the country’s devastating loss of its most prominent leaders.
Over 300 residents and local government officials were present at an evening mass held at St. Casmir’s Church in Thunder Bay to pay respects to the 96 passengers and crew aboard Poland’s presidential plane that crashed near Smolensk, Russia, last weekend. All passengers were killed in the disaster.
On board were close to 50 percent of the nation’s top government officials, including Poland’s president, Lech Kaczyński, his wife, the Polish General Staff’s chief, and other high ranking military officials. Poland’s deputy foreign minister, 12 parliament officials, and other prominent figures in Poland’s government also perished during the crash.
It’s worth noting that the City of Thunder Bay has over 5,000 people who trace their ancestry to Poland.
The memorial service was organized by members of the Canadian Polish Congress, with the goal of helping locals cope with the tragedy. Attending the service were Mayor Lynn Peterson, councilor Joe Virderamo, and MPP Bill Mauro.
Thunder Bay is just one of the many cities across the globe who have come together to lend their support to the stunned country. The Polish President’s funeral will be held on Saturday.