Polish president's body returns to Warsaw

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Tens of thousands of Poles have turned out to see the hearse carrying the coffin of their late president -- tossing flowers at the hearse, and softly singing their country's national anthem.

The coffin arrived in Poland today from Russia, where President Lech Kaczynski (lekh kah-CHIN'-skee) and 95 other people died in a plane crash yesterday. They were on their way to a ceremony honoring thousands of Polish officers who'd been slain by the Soviet secret police in 1940.

The coffin was met first by Kaczynski's daughter, Marta, whose mother also died in the crash. The president's twin brother, a former prime minister, also knelt and pressed his head against the flag-draped coffin.

It was then placed in a hearse that slowly traveled several miles to the palace, watched by thousands of weeping Poles.

Earlier, the country observed two minutes of silence, which followed the pealing of church bells.

There's no date yet for a funeral.

%@AP Links

<<CUT …120 (04/11/10)>> 00:15 "Saturday in Russia"

Monika Scislowska (shees-LAH'-skuh)

AP correspondent Monika Scislowska reports there have been several ceremonies around Poland in tribute of those who died in the plane crash.

<<CUT …121 (04/11/10)>> 00:17 "of the parliament"

Monika Scislowska (shees-LAH'-skuh)

AP correspondent Monika Scislowska reports the Polish prime minister and other officials have been making their tributes to their deceased colleagues. ((note cut length))

<<CUT …123 (04/11/10)>> 00:15 "by other officials"

Monika Scislowska (shees-LAH'-skuh)

AP correspondent Monika Scislowska reports many Polish people are sad about the deaths of many of their politicians but believe their country will survive.

<<CUT …131 (04/11/10)>> 00:30 "''

Sound of honor guard welcoming back the body of the Polish president

This is sound of an honor guard welcoming back the body of the Polish president to Warsaw. COURTESY: Polish broadcaster TVN ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT …132 (04/11/10)>> 00:13 "''

bugle being played during repatriation ceremony in Russia for the body of the Polish president Lech Kaczynski

This is sound of a bugle being played during a repatriation ceremony in Russia for the body of the Polish president Lech Kaczynski.

<<APPHOTO WAR150 (04/11/10)>>

: A motorcade bearing a coffin of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski arrives at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, April 11, 2010, after Polish President Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash. Kaczynski, his wife and some of the country's highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday April, 10, 2010, when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 96.

<<APPHOTO XAK164 (04/11/10)>>

: Daughter of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Marta, left, reacts as Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw, second left, looks on during a ceremony after the arrival of the coffin with the late president at the military airport in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, April 11, 2010. Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and some of the country's highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday, April 10, 2010, when the presidential plane crashed as it came for landing in fog near Smolensk, western Russia.

<<APPHOTO XAK163 (04/11/10)>>

: Twin brother of the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Jaroslaw kneels in front of the coffin with his brother after the coffin's arrival at the military airport in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, April 11, 2010. Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and some of the country's highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday, April 10, 2010, when the presidential plane crashed as it came for landing in fog near Smolensk, western Russia.

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