A decade later, we remember

By Sasha Kramer, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), Jan. 10, 2020

 

Here in Haiti, this weekend is one of collective reflection and remembrance. Sunday marks 10 years since the earthquake struck, changing millions of lives here and around the world.

As the sun was setting at 4:53 pm on January 12, 2010, the streets of Haiti bustled with the energy and hope of a new decade. Families made their way home at the end of a long day, tap taps crawled through the winding streets, the National Palace and cathedral cast proud shadows over the capital city. In less than a minute, the dream of a new decade was shattered as Port-au-Prince crumbled to the ground in one of the world’s deadliest natural disasters.

Today we ask you to join us in honoring the memory of the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives, in reaching out with solidarity to all those living with the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one, and in remembering the legacy of the city that was forever changed.

In the past decade, we have witnessed the ways in which tragedy can unite us in our shared humanity and in our commitment to a more just, resilient future. We were also reminded that, though natural disasters strike without prejudice, the experience in their aftermath is directly shaped by the historical and contemporary injustices plaguing our world. Though the city of Port-au-Prince may have fallen in seconds, Haiti has been devastated for hundreds of years by the lasting effects of slavery, colonialism and globalization. The earthquake pulled back the veil and showed the world once more how inequality creates vulnerability. It also reminded us that healing from historical injustice is a slow and fragile process that demands creativity and unwavering dedication.

For those of you who lost a loved one, a colleague, a hero, or a dream – we stand today, united in our shared sorrow and our common vision of a future beyond the shadow of tragedy and injustice. And, to those of you who have continued to support us in solidarity far beyond the immediate aftermath, we extend our deepest gratitude for your steadfast commitment to building equity, the cornerstone of resilience.

 

Posted Jan. 18, 2020