Miami: Mass in Little Haiti for Earthquake Victims

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Friday, 13 January 2012 01:43

MIAMI, USA ( – A mass in memory of the victims of the earthquake of January 12 in Haiti was held at the Catholic Church of Notre-Dame in Little Haiti.

This mass was in the Haitian district of Miami, on the occasion of second anniversary of the disaster that left 300,000 dead, 1.3 million homeless and damages in the impoverish Caribbean country.

Hundreds of people gathered on Thursday, January 12, at the Catholic church of Notre-Dame in Little Haiti to mark the second anniversary of the earthquake that occurred in Haiti two years ago. At the ceremony in memory of the 300,000 dead of the disaster were noted the presence of Haitian officials in Florida as the Mayor of North Miami, Andre Pierre, and the chief of police of the same city, Marc Elias, community leaders as the activist Marleine Bastien, or representatives of Haitian-American professional association as attorney Richard Champagne.

Within the parish, posters showing pictures of Catholic churches that collapsed in Haiti with the inscription "We will never forget January 12, 2010."

"We are here today to commemorate the memory of the victims of the disaster, we do not come here to magnify this date, but to remember our loved ones," said the priest, adding that this tragic event reminds us how life is fragile and invites everyone to humility.

“January 12 was one of the toughest time and one of the darkest moments in our history as a people. This earthquake is a call to human, Christian and moral conscience, "said the priest officiating the ceremony in his homily.

The date of January 12 should be retained in our history as the First of January. January 1 reminds us of our independence, while January 12 reminds us of our responsibility to our nation, he added.

The clergyman, however, pointed out how shameful it is that at the second commemoration of the earthquake many compatriots still living in Haiti in subhuman conditions, while some use the misery of the survivors of the disaster to make money.

Finally, the parish priest called on the Haitian community in Miami to come together to achieve great things in memory of those killed so that their sacrifices are not in vain.

After mass, Haitians participated in a religious procession held in the evening the streets of Little Haiti.

Apart from the mass and procession, other activities will be organized as the screening of a documentary on the disaster on January 13 at the Cultural Center in Little Haiti. In the center is currently underway an exhibition of Haiti entitled "Haiti, Kingdom of this world" showing several works inspired by the earthquake.

Also on 13 January, U.S. officials as the American ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, the US Representative Frederica Wilson (Florida) and the US Senator Bill Nelson will speak at a conference entitled 'Discussion on Progress in Haiti", which will be held at Miami Edison Middle School Auditorium. This activity will aim to provide the latest information on relief efforts of the U.S. administration two years after the disaster in Haiti.