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Up to 2 million Poles arrive in Rome for Pope John Paul II's funeral

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Up to 2 million Poles are believed to have reached Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. "For today at least, this is our second Poland," said Maria Przytula, 60, a retired lawyer from the southern city of Wroclaw, who traveled with her son and grandson. "The Poles are united here -- it's an exceptional experience of joy and thanksgiving for all he did for us," she said. Przytula was one of thousands lined up along Rome's Via della Conciliazione to enter St. Peter's Square in a mass of red and white Polish flags. Mieczyslaw Kryminek, a worker from the shipyard in Gdansk, birthplace of Poland's Solidarity movement, said Poles were determined to reach Rome to pay homage to their "second father."

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