February 14, 2010 [LINK / comment]

Haiti: one month of agony

On Thursday afternoon, people all across Haiti paused to remember the earthquake which devastated their country one month earlier -- at about 5:00 P.M. on January 12. An ecumenical memorial service was held in front of what's left of the National Palace, joining Catholic, Protestant, and Voodoo clergymen. Large parts of Haiti were destroyed, but several smaller cities remain intact, and the government is encouraging the homeless refugees to relocate to those parts of the country. The latest estimates are that at least 217,000 people have died, but the toll will continue to rise as more bodies are pulled from the rubble. It is impossible to express the magnitude of the horror in an adequate way with mere numbers, but taking a look at the grim statistics is a necessary first step. See CNN.com and BBC.

Last night, Emmanuel Episcopal Church held a fund-raising dinner featuring fish stew and musical entertainment (including me), and all of the proceeds (quite ample) will go toward Haitian emergency relief operations. Rev. Ed Covert said a very moving grace before the meal, keeping us "ever mindful" of the needs of others.