Czechs Bid Farewell To Late President Vaclav Havel

By Salon Staff

Published December 23, 2011 9:54AM (EST)

PRAGUE (AP) — Czechs are bidding an emotional farewell to Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who led their peaceful revolution that brought to an end decades of Communist rule.

Havel's wife Dagmar, family members, friends and leaders from dozens of countries are gathering Friday at the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the biggest and most important church in the country to pay their last respects to the former president.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron are among some 1,000 mourners.

Czech citizens are packing a nearby courtyard at the Prague Castle and a square to watch the funeral ceremony on giant screens.

Havel died on Sunday at age 75.

Salon Staff

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