According to multiple news sources a plane carrying the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and 95 of the top political and military officials has crashed in western Russia killing all those aboard. This tragedy is a hard hit for the government who has only recently gained its independence from Soviet communist power. The country is now in a state of national mourning. The Polish president and these government officials were on their way to Smolensk Russia to commemorate the killing of more than 20,000 Polish officers by the Soviet secret police after the Red Army invaded Poland. The pilot was warned about the fog and was told he should land early but chose to continue on. As quoted in the New York Times, “It is a damned place,” former president Aleksander Kwasniewski told TVN24. “It sends shivers down my spine. First the flower of the Second Polish Republic is murdered in the forests around Smolensk, now the intellectual elite of the Third Polish Republic die in this tragic plane crash when approaching Smolensk airport.” According to the Polish constitution the leader of the lower house, now acting as president, must announce the date of a new election in 14 days and the new election must take place in 60 days. Hopefully the Polish people will be able to move forward from this tragedy with dignity and begin again with a new leader.