Haiti Observes Day of Mourning
Tens of thousands honor quake victims
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2010 3:41 PM CST
Haiti's President Rene Preval, second from left, wipes his tears as he attends a national day of mourning ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Tens of thousands of Haitians united today to mourn the victims of the earthquake that devastated the nation 1 month ago. At Champs de Mars, a tent city outside the collapsed National Palace, a 3-day memorial service began. "Haiti has just experienced the biggest tragedy of our history,'' a prominent priest told the crowd. "It shows that from now on we must do things not like before the earthquake. Have solidarity but with a new conscience.''

President René Préval told his people to "have courage," the Miami Herald reports. "Today, I am not speaking to you as president, but as a father," Préval said. "Understand that your cries have been heard and that the people of Haiti must have courage. The message is Haiti has not perished. The message is Haiti cannot perish.''