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Thousands join Havel procession

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 00:53

Dec. 21 - Thousands of Czechs line the streets of Prague to pay their last respects to Vaclav Havel during a procession from St. Anna church to Prague Castle where the former President will lie in state until Friday's funeral. (Rough cut - no reporter narration.)

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Czechs in their thousands silently follow the hearse carrying Vaclav Havel's remains from a modest church towards Prague Castle on Wednesday where the former president will lie in state until Friday's state funeral. Mourners had gathered outside St. Anna church long before daybreak to pay their respects to the man who is considered to have brought them freedom and democracy with his struggle to topple Communism. Havel's widow Dagmar and his daughter Nina Veskrnova walked behind the hearse carrying Havel's remains in a wooden, brown-coloured coffin as it left St. Anna church and crossed Charles Bridge on the way to Prague Castle, the Czech president's official residence. Two days earlier, Prime Minister Petr Necas announced a three-day period of national mourning from Wednesday until Friday, which will culminate in a funeral at Prague Castle's St Vitus cathedral and a nationwide moment of silence on Friday at noon. Leaders and elder statesmen from across Europe and the world are expected to attend Havel's funeral.

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Thousands join Havel procession

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 00:53