Haitians look ahead as they remember quake victims
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Jan 19, 2011  |  Vote 0    0

Haitians look ahead as they remember quake victims

Ottawa East News

Haitians in the Ottawa area last week gathered to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that shattered the Caribbean nation on Jan. 12, 2010.

In a touching tribute at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Haitians reaffirmed their solidarity as they turned up in large numbers to remember the nearly 250,000 people killed in the disaster.

Haitian born priest Father Joseph Eveillard gave a moving and emotional eulogy to the packed church and asked Haitians to be optimistic during these tough times as they remember their lost loved ones.

“There is need for hope and optimism for the future of our country,” he said.

One year on, approximately 800,000 people are still living in temporary shelters.

Haiti’s charge d’affairs Nathalie Gissel-Menos told the audience that Haiti will succeed in its reconstruction.

“2011 is going to be an excellent surprise year for our recovery,” Menos said.

The Eucharistic celebration was led by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, who urged Canadians to continue donating to Haiti’s reconstruction effort.

“It is important that we take time out to honour the victims of the earthquake and to pray for their families and those left behind,” said Prendergast.

The small nation of about 10 million people has experienced decades of poverty, violence and political upheaval. But the earthquake dealt a crushing blow and a year later little there remains much rebuilding work to been done.

“I am here to join my fellow Haitians to remember and celebrate life of our loved ones,” said Nathalie Ovigne, who lost her mother in the quake.

To her, life will never be the same again.

“It is very hard for me to go through this. I keep thinking of my mother every day.”

Ovigne is appalled that so little has been done to return the country to anything near normal. “Much has been said, but so little has been done.”


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