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Iceland volcano ash keeps Obama, others from attending Polish president's funeral

President Obama and other world leaders were prevented from traveling to see Polish President Lech Kaczynski's funeral in Krakow today due to the cloud of ash hanging over Europe after the Iceland volcano.

Passengers look out from the windows of Krakow airport, Poland, Friday. A cloud of volcanic ash from an Iceland volcano caused cancellation of flights across Europe putting which kept leaders from attending the burial ceremony of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife, killed in a plane crash.

Petr David Josek/AP

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One week after the tragic plane crash in which Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and a number of senior political and military leaders died, a mourning Poland is honoring its leader.

The president’s funeral took in the country’s historical site, the Royal Wawel Castle in Krakow, where Polish kings and key statesmen have been buried, but ash from the Iceland volcano continues to ground planes over Europe, preventing many world leaders from paying their respects in person.

President Obama’s Sunday visit to Poland was canceled at the last minute due to the volcanic ash cloud that has paralyzed Europe’s air traffic. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and other guests have announced their absence at the ceremony for the same reason.


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