A year on, Haitians cope with wretched memories
Haitians attend a prayer service near the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
January 12th, 2011
12:49 PM ET

A year on, Haitians cope with wretched memories

They filled the grounds in front of the collapsed cathedral in Haiti's capital Wednesday. To remember. To cope. To pray.

Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the earthquake that changed the face of a nation.

More than 200,000 people perished last January 12 when the earth shook violently for a few seconds. Houses toppled, swallowing residents alive. Government offices and landmark buildings, including the Notre Dame cathedral, came tumbling down.

Five days ago, three more bodies were pulled from the rubble in central Port-au-Prince.

Haitians still come to pray at the cathedral every Sunday. On this day, the crowds overwhelmed the small park in front. People embraced one another and cried openly. There was no reason to hide the sorrow that pervades their lives every day.

In one neighborhood, a man woke up residents as he walked through the streets at dawn. He carried a Bible and recited prayers.

Faith is all that many Haitians have left.

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