The Czech nation ar in mourning for the father of the country's democratic journey, Vaclav Havel. This morning, December 21, 2011, the Czech people have turned out to see the coffin of Vaclav Havel moved to Prague Castle. Mr Havel was instrumental in the demonstrations in Czechoslovakia which led to the overthrow of the Communist regime, in 1989, in the so called Velvet Revolution. He died over the last weekend, aged 75.
He retired from politics in 2003 but remained a much loved and respected individual in the country and around the World. His state funeral will be held Friday December 23, 2011 and will be attended by many World leaders.
Mr Havel's health had been cause for concern for a number of years. He managed to battle various illnesses but had been unable to recover from ongoing chest problems.
Today Mr Havel's coffin was given a the full military pomp and ceremony as he was moved into the oldest part Prague Castle, 15th-century Vladislav Hall. The casket had been on display in Prague Crossroads, a former church. Thosands had queued to pay their last respects to Havel. Unlike the mourners in North Korea, mourning Kim Jong-il, there is no doubt that these people will truly mourn Mr Havel.
A period of three-days of official mourning starts today. Friday's state funeral will be held in St. Vitus Cathedral.
The lessons of Vaclav Havel
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog