Poles attend memorial to President, others killed

Former Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, center, brother of late President Kaczynski, and Marta Kaczynska, right of him, only daughter of the Presidential couple, attend a national memorial service in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw on April 17 in Warsaw, Poland. (AP)

Some 100,000 Poles have filled Pilsudski Square for a public memorial to the 96 people including President Lech Kaczynski killed in a plane crash last week, marking two minutes of silence that was followed by screaming emergency sirens and the din of pealing church bells.

A mass of people converged on the square but were orderly as they waved white-and-red Polish flags Ñ black ribbons of mourning affixed to them. A massive white stage, a large cross in the center, was flanked by oversized photos of the 96 dead.

The ceremony is the first of two days of somber ceremonies and will be followed by a funeral mass for the first couple at St. John's Cathedral at 6 pm (1600 GMT; noon EDT) in Warsaw.

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