Heads of state and leaders paid their last respects to former Czech president Václav Havel at at a state funeral on Friday at which his struggle for truth, love and freedom were frequently recalled. His friend, former US secreatry of state Madeleine Albright, described him as one of the biggest personalities in the world of the last 20 years.
The pomp and ceremony of Václav Havel’s state funeral on Friday will be followed by much smaller and private ceremonies for family and friends. The urn containing Havel’s ashes to be placed in the family tomb in one of Prague’s main cemeteries. The famously modest Czech playwright, statesman and global human rights campaigner had asked that no special inscription mark his final resting place.
Following fulsome praise and tributes from world leaders and their own political elite, ordinary Czechs have begun to pay homage to former president Václav Havel, whose remains were taken to Prague on Monday and Tuesday for citizens to pay their own respects. On Wednesday and Thursday, his body will lie in state at Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle.
The American Friends of the Czech Republic (AFoCR) on Tuesday kicked off four days of events to celebrate the unveiling and dedication of a monument honoring the 28th U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, in Prague. Participating in the events were former Czech President Václav Havel and former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, both honorary co-chairs at AFoCR’s Gala Award Dinner in the Czech capital.
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who will visit Prague next week, will have a private meeting with former Czech president Vaclav Havel on April 4, the Czech news agency ČTK reports. She is also scheduled to meet Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra, a former Czech ambassador to the Washington, visit the US embassy, and possibly attend an event at the Foreign Ministry.