MIAMI (CBS4) – Wednesday will be a day of remembrance across South Florida as thousands of people will gather at a number of events to mark the one year anniversary of a catastrophic earthquake which shook Port au Prince, Haiti to its knees.
More than 230-thousand people were killed in the quake which left more than a million people homeless.READ MORE: Be Prepared: Florida's Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday Begins Saturday
A number of events and services are planned for the day to remember those who died and discuss the future of Haitians living in the U.S. and Haiti.
A 9 a.m., Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, the first Haitian-American County Commissioner in United States, honored several community agencies located in the county which were instrumental in rescue and aid efforts after the quake. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Karls Paul-Noel and the department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team will also be recognized for their indispensable labor.
Miami-Dade’s Department of Children and Families held a remembrance ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in the Rhode Building Courtyard, at 401 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami. DCF was the lead agency coordinating the Haitian repatriation after the earthquake; bringing back U.S. citizens and residents that were in Haiti during the quake and needed to get back home. The event featured Haitian music, Haitian art, and survivors of the earthquake.
At Miami Children’s Hospital, Haitians who were flown to South Florida and treated at MCH were reunited with the doctors and nurses who treated them. The event also honored staff volunteers who traveled to Haiti and set up a pediatric makeshift hospital in Port au Prince.READ MORE: Condo Reform Measure Introduced During Florida Special Session On Property Insurance
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, along with the Ayiti History and Resources and Haitian American Emergency Relief Committee, is inviting the public to attend the Sixth Annual Haitian Independence Month Celebrations opening ceremony at 11:00 a.m., in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center on NW 1st Street. This year’s ceremony will feature a visual montage highlighting Haitian history and a day of remembrance. Honored guests include Dr. Michelle Dodar from the U.M. Global Institute/Project Medishare, Alonzo Mourning and artist Carl Craig.
North Miami will hold a memorial service which will include a moment of silence at 4:53 p.m., when the earthquake struck. The memorial will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the city’s MOCA Plaza at 770 NE 125th Street.
Miami’s Little Haiti community will hold a march and vigil. Little Haiti’s largest grassroots organization, Veye Yo, will assemble marchers at their headquarters, located at 28 NE 54th Street at 4 p.m. The procession will proceed to the statue of Toussant L’Ouverture located at NE 61st Street and North Miami Ave., where at 4:53 PM a moment of silence will be held. This will be followed by a memorial vigil.
The Archdiocese of Miami will be celebrating several masses to commemorate Haiti’s earthquake victims. In Miami-Dade, a remembrance Mass will be held at the Cathedral of St. Mary, at 7525 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami, at 7 p.m. The Mass will be celebrated in English, Spanish and Creole. In Broward, Masses throughout the day at St. Clement Church on North Andrews Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale will be offered for the people of Haiti.
Florida International University has a day of commemorative events planned including a
Moment of Silence and a Tolling of the Bells for Haiti at 4:53pm. The program will include bells tolling for Haiti, a candlelight vigil and the screening of a film titled Ayiti Leve by Tatiana Magloire and made possible by the Green Family Foundation. At 6 p.m. in the Modesto Maidique Campus Graham Center Ballrooms FIU students have planned a cultural celebration to close the days activities. The event will serve as a celebration of independence, a celebration of overcoming and a celebration of life hosted for the FIU community and sponsored by FIUs Haitian Student Organization.
The Miami HEAT plans to honor the victims and the survivors of the catastrophe during their road games against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 12 and the Denver Nuggets on January 13. During player warm ups, the Clippers and the Nuggets will join the HEAT in wearing special shooting shirts featuring a Save Haiti logo designed by South Florida artist, Romero Britto. In addition, the HEAT coaching staff and broadcasting team will wear special Haiti awareness ribbons. All coaches and bench staff for the Clippers and the Nuggets will also wear the Haiti awareness ribbons.