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Germany Holds Memorial Service for Plane Crash Victims

  • VOA News

German President Joachim Gauck speaks during a memorial service for the 150 victims of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 in Cologne's Cathedral, April 17, 2015.

German President Joachim Gauck speaks during a memorial service for the 150 victims of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 in Cologne's Cathedral, April 17, 2015.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Germany's Cologne Cathedral for a memorial service honoring the 150 people who died in the crash of a Germanwings jet last month in the Alps.

Both a Catholic — the archbishop of the cathedral — and Protestant minister led the proceedings, attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German President Joachim Gauck, and French and Spanish officials. Employees of the Germanwings airline and its parent company, Lufthansa, were also in attendance.

Flags flew at half-staff around the country in tribute to the victims of the crash.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is believed to have deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps March 24 while he was alone in the cockpit. All 150 people on board the flight, headed from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, are believed dead.

Friday's service featured 150 candles, one for each of those victims, including Lubitz.

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