Today, I witnessed true strength. I attended a candlelight vigil planned by two of our teachers to honor and remember those who have passed away and those who are still suffering in Haiti. Students, teachers and administrators attended, hoping to offer some comfort and support for our Haitian students. Many have lost family and friends and some are still waiting and hoping to hear about more of their loved ones.
We gathered in a circle and our students shared their stories of the loss of their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and other close relatives and friends. First a young girl, barely able to speak English, spoke about her fear for those still in Haiti and her feelings of helplessness. Then, one of our teachers, who just yesterday heard about the loss of another family member, spoke to all of us, and then directly to the Haitian students in their native language telling them to remain strong and hopeful for the future of the Haitian people. A senior in JROTC stepped forward and addressed his classmates, telling them that he was impressed with the courage and strength they have demonstrated by continuing to come to school in the face of such sorrow. Another teacher spoke to all of us about the need to continue to support the people of Haiti after the media goes away and all the stories stop. His message is important for all of us to remember in the coming weeks and months.