CaribWorldNews, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Thurs. Jan. 13, 2011: Many Haitians wore white yesterday as they gathered in prayer a year after the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010 claimed over 200,000 lives and left over one million displaced.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, who was sent by Pope Benedict, XVI, joined other religious leaders and government officials in the area where the Puerto Principe Cathedral used to stand. The building is now a gutted, roofless shell.
Many relatives of the victims were among those gathered in prayerful sorrow, and they raised their arms to the sky to pray for the souls of those who died when the quake struck last year.
At Saint Antoine de Padoue, Mass was held in an alley even as there were some reports of a few tires burning, and groups of students marched down the streets, chanting and demanding a faster recovery.
On the site where the government`s tax ministry collapsed last January, President Rene Preval laid a stone in concrete to commemorate the start of construction of the January 12, 2010, Memorial Park.
Workers released white balloons as performers sang lyrics that spoke to their sadness at not being able to properly bury their dead.
The anniversary comes as general situation of the capital remains largely the same with about a million still homeless and living in cramped tent cities and only five per cent of the rubble removed.
At U.N. Headquarters in NY, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took part in a wreath-laying ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, timed to coincide with the hour at which the earthquake struck – at 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday, 12 January, 2010. One hundred and two UN staff members perished, constituting the highest loss of life from a single event in United Nations history.