If you haven’t heard by now about the devastation in Haiti, you’ve either been hiding under a rock or just don’t pay very much attention to what goes on in the world. Images of death and destruction have been circulating all over the internet, news, and all other media outlets showing us the damage caused by yesterday’s earthquake. The quake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale is being called the worst earthquake to hit the island since 1770.
As I surfed the net going from CNN to msnbc and to other news sites I couldn’t help but feel personally touched by what I was reading and by some of the images that I was seeing. Not since 9/11 has such a tragedy struck so close to home. Haiti which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic is very close (distance-wise) to the United States. I have family that lives in Puerto Rico and friends that have family that live in D.R. What happened in Haiti could have easily happened in Puerto Rico or in the Dominican Republic. While I am not aware that anyone I personally know has been affected by the disaster in Haiti there are many people that have been. When I think of those people and what they may have lost I get extremely sad. Msnbc reports that “The devastation was so complete that it seemed likely the death toll from Tuesday afternoon’s quake would run into the thousands.” That statement is very disheartening. Thousands of people have been injured, possibly disabled, or even worse, found dead as a result of a natural disaster.
Schools, buildings, and homes have also been destroyed and when I think about the level of devastation that has plagued the island I can’t help but think of the children. The children that were in school at that time that the earthquake hit, or those that were out working and were separated from their parents. I think about how scared and alone they must have felt. I wonder if any of them cried out for the mother or father. I wonder did any of them survive the quake and possibly be trapped under piles of wreckage? I think about those children that did survive but maybe their parents weren’t as lucky. What will happen to them? Not only will these children be affected by the loss of their homes and their schools but some of them will have to cope with the possible loss of their mother, father, or both. They inevitably will become homeless and orphaned.
I don’t have children but I guess my concern for the children comes from the love that I have for my 2 nieces and nephew. To me, they are my children and if god forbid anything were to happen to their parents there is a line of people in my family that would step up to take care of them and try to provide a healthy and stable environment for them. However, in an under developed country like Haiti, most people are living hand to mouth. They can barely make ends meet for their own families so to take in children that aren’t your own would prove to be a hardship for most families. Haiti is still considered to be a third-world country and most of Haiti’s 9 million people are desperately poor.
I realize that the children aren’t the only ones affected by this tragedy and that there will be parents that will have to cope with the loss of their children and wives that will have to deal with the loss of their husbands and vice versa. But I just can’t help but wonder what will happen to the children.
Tonight when I say my prayers I will keep the people of Haiti and those with family members on the island in my thoughts but I will say a special prayer for the children. I hope you will to.