Today, we mourn the hundreds of thousands that were killed in the earthquake, the millions displaced, the loss of massive amounts infrastructure, of schools and hospitals and government buildings. We mourn the ongoing tragedy of an inefficient response, mired in bureaucracy and corruption and exploitation. We mourn that 1 million people are still living in tents, that foreign companies are benefiting more from reconstruction contracts than Haitians. We mourn that such a devastating disaster did little to uproot the social, economic and political structures that oppress the majority of Haitians.
The city feels as though it's wrapped in a shroud. This morning the streets are empty, but churches are overflowing with Haitians wearing white and black, the colors of mourning. The government is launching a registry to identify the dead, as well as those that are still missing. A ceremony is taking place at the National Cemetery, masses being held at cathedrals around the city. We grieve.
But we also celebrate. We celebrate life, our lives and the lives of the people around us that are active and engaged in trying to shape Haiti’s future. We celebrate a vision for how things could be different for this country. We celebrate what has been done, the rubble that has been moved, the houses that have been repaired, the small businesses that have been rebuilt. In the midst of the mourning, I can also hear people singing.
Please pray for this country today. Pray that today Haiti will recapture the sense of solidarity that was so prevalent in those first weeks after the earthquake and, along with that, the energy to move forward towards healing and real, just and participative reconstruction.