Today the citizens of Poland experienced a national tragedy of significant size. You can read an excellent article about the plane carrying the Polish president, which crashed and killed all aboard.
The toll cut a swath through Poland’s elite. The 97 dead included the army chief of staff, the head of the National Security Office, the national bank president, the deputy foreign minister, the deputy parliament speaker, the civil rights commissioner and other members of parliament.
Also aboard the plane were war veterans and surviving family members of Poles killed by the Soviets. There was 90-year-old Ryszard Kaczorowski, Poland’s last “president-in-exile” during the Soviet years. And Anna Walentynowicz, the shipyard worker whose dismissal in 1980 sparked the Solidarity union protests that eventually led to the collapse of Polish communism and made the symbolic first chink in the Berlin Wall.
To lose such a large number of important, culturally significant, and historically revered people is almost unimaginable. In a nation which has quite possibly had some of the hardest history in the past 100 years, this kind of event is not just tragic, it is spiritually wounding. As we prepare to serve in Poland we are more and more aware of the devastation this nation has been put through. Our hearts are saddened, and our prayers are humbly attempting to seek God’s peace for Poland in the wake of such an event.