15 JANUARY 2010


By 15 January, it was confirmed that there are 36 U.N. casualties from the earthquake in Haiti; their names were withheld until their families were notified. We shall follow that directive. But we cannot hide our deep concern for the safety of colleagues we know and others we don't. The latest inside information was that Hotel Christopher, where the mission (UNISTAH) was based was severely damaged. It was said that anyone who worked above the 6th floor was most likely killed. The earthquake took place around 6pm, which is still working time on U.N. missions. The head of the mission, Hedi Annabi, is located on the top floor. His wife, who has advanced Alzheimer's, was with him. Hedi is a brother and a friendly colleague since 25 years. His Deputy Luis da Costa is also located in the same area. We know him as a Personnel Officer since 1982. They are gentle souls who never hurt anyone intentionally. They would certainly know how to respond effectively. They were always courteous and helpful. We pray for their safety. Those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace deserve our recognition and sympathy with their families. Their hosts, the Haitian people, have suffered enormously. The kind, thoughtful, and forever patient Haitians do not deserve more desecration. In their greatest hour of need we all should stand by them and offer every possible support. God save Haiti. God help us.