Statement by President Obama on the death of Polish President

Office of the Press Secretary

April 10, 2010

Statement by President Obama on the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and those traveling with him.

Today, I called Polish Prime Minister Tusk to express Michelle’s and mydeepest condolences to the people of Poland on the tragic deaths thismorning of President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynski, and all whowere traveling with them to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katynmassacre.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kaczynski family, the lovedones of those killed in this tragic plane crash, and the Polish nation.

Today’s loss is devastating to Poland, to the United States, and to theworld.  President Kaczynski was a distinguished statesman who played a keyrole in the Solidarity movement, and he was widely admired in the UnitedStates as a leader dedicated to advancing freedom and human dignity.  Withhim were many of Poland’s most distinguished civilian and military leaderswho have helped to shape Poland’s inspiring democratic transformation.  Wejoin all the people of Poland in mourning their passing.

Today, there are heavy hearts across America.  The United States cherishesits deep and abiding bonds with the people of Poland.  Those bonds arerepresented in the strength of our alliance, the friendships among ourpeople, and the extraordinary contributions of Polish-Americans who havehelped to shape our nation.

It is a testament to the strength of the Polish people that those who werelost were travelling to commemorate a devastating massacre of World War IIas the leaders of a strong, vibrant, and free Poland.  That strength willensure that Poland emerges from the depths of this unthinkable tragedy, andthat the legacy of the leaders who died today will be a light that continuesto guide Poland – and the world – in the direction of human progress.

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