Today starts a week of mourning as the President of Poland, along with many other high ranking officials, was killed today in a plane crash in Russia. This is big. Nowhere in history has a political catastrophe like this happened. Every Polish flag in Gdańsk has a black ribbon adorning it and many buildings, including ours, have posted black ribbons and flags on their sides. The country is in shock. The thing is that it's not just the president who was killed, it was most of his party too. To compare for a moment, a comparable situation in the US would be if (a couple years ago) Air Force One went down with the entire Bush family, every chief of staff and cabinet member, and the heads of all the military forces went down on their way to a 9-11 commemoration ceremony. I never liked Bush or any of his party, but think of what turmoil that would have caused.
As a foreigner, I'm not sure how to feel. I'm numb. This is just too big to comprehend. When Piotr told me this morning over the phone, I felt like I needed to call my family. It didn't happen on Polish soil, there's no reason why I wouldn't be okay, but I still felt like I needed to call. Unfortunately, they're on some deserted island at the moment without phone service so I couldn't call but the urge was still there. I guess it still is. We called Piotr's mom instead, waking her up, and told her the news.
I was having a hard enough time focusing today and trying to get things done, and with something like this happening it pretty much cancels out the day. It makes the everyday things seem unimportant. I wish I had some insightful tidbit to add here at the end, but like most of the rest of the country, I'm at a loss for words.