Haiti - Chicago : The diaspora commemorates the independence of Haiti
Speech of the Consul Lesly Condé :
"Distinguished members of the Congregation,
Dear friends of Haiti,
Friends of Haiti,
My brothers and sisters,
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year, we are gathered here to commemorate the 213th anniversary of the independence of the First Black Nation of the Americas. Once again, I am immensely proud to be in your company in the house of God, and to bring you brotherly greetings from the Consulate General of Haiti in Chicago.
I am quite pleased to observe that, despite all the challenges our country has been facing since its birth, in a world that has been insensitive, to say the least, you have remained proud; proud to be Haitians.
Since the first day of January 1804, we have been lonesome, misunderstood and largely unknown. Our valiant ancestors are ignored by the rest of the world, even though their exploits ignited the fire of freedom far beyond our borders. It is our job to keep the fire of dignity burning, and to embrace our ancestors' noble ideals that led to the birth of Haiti.
On this day when we are commemorating the 213th anniversary of a nation that has always struggled to barely stay alive, it is our duty to think about what life will be for our children and our children's children.
After experiencing two major natural disasters in the course of one decade, Haiti is, today, facing a time when great courage and pragmatism must come to the rescue of human dignity.
Let us ask the Lord to grant us the wisdom we need in order to act in such a responsible way as to guarantee our children and children's children a Haiti our ancestors can be proud of.
As we are welcoming a brand new year, I wish you courage, health and much success. On behalf of the Chicago Haitian Community, I will never stop thanking the Church of Our Lady Of Peace and the Haitian Catholic Mission of the Archdiocese of Chicago for their invariable solidarity. My dear friends, whatever you do, always remember Haiti.
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