Russia: Eulogy for Alyosha

Moscow's crematory hall echoed with the somber notes of Chopin's Funeral March as the group of 200 mourners stood around the open coffin. They listened quietly as a tall, ramrod-straight man, his voice choked with emotion, eulogized its occupant. Suddenly, the cavernous hall's public-address system crackled out a brusque announcement that the group's time was up. Then, before more than a handful of mourners had been able to plant a parting kiss on the dead man's forehead, a woman in a black smock slid a cover on the wooden coffin, nailed it...

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