SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — This week dozens of Haitians are traveling to Savannah to celebrate the unique, historical bond between the small nation and the Hostess City.
They’ll hold a special ceremony on Franklin Square to raise awareness about the country’s urgent need for help from the United States.
“The way Haiti is going right now, our heart is bleeding. We shouldn’t even be celebrating Haitian Flag Day,” says Kersaint Momperousse and President of Haitian Flag Day, Savannah.
Momperousse says the 280th-anniversary celebration of Haiti’s flag will go on, but the 100 or so Haitians expected to attend will use it as an opportunity.
“The United States likes to say Haiti is our backyard, but they are not taking care of the backyard. Right now we have a major crisis in kidnapping,” Momperousse said. “We have a major crisis in raping. I mean killing.”
A troubled nation for well over a century, Haiti’s current problems come after devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2021, and the assassination of their president last year that sent the government into a downward spiral.
“We don’t really need money,” says Momperousse. “All we need is security. If the U.S. can guarantee Haitians some security at home, believe me, we will build Haiti.”
Momperousse says security would allow for peaceful elections. It’s a request being pushed in the Hostess City, because of the Haitians’ help fighting in the Siege of Savannah during the American Revolution. “It is in our history book that the Haitians came here Oct. 9th, 1779 and helped the U.S. get its freedom against the British.”
Haitian Flag Day will start at Franklin Square at 10 Wednesday morning, and wrap up with a conference about the depth of Haiti’s crisis. The events are sponsored by the League of Haitian American Diaspora Alliance Network4 sentenced, 4 indicted on federal gun charges or LHADAN. To find out more about attending the conference, you can visit their Facebook page.