Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Reflection - Pray for the people in Haiti and El Salvador

Shortly after the deadly earthquake hit Haiti on January 12 of this year I visited a local Buffalo organization by the name of VIVE. It is a residence for refugees who are making their way from unsafe situations in the country of their birth and they come to Buffalo for refuge, most of them are on their way to Canada.

The daughter of a woman who had escaped the hardship of the earthquake painted a mural on the wall of one of the planned dormitories.

That mural shows very well what is in the hearts of the women who are still in Haiti.

Women in Haiti

photos by peacesojourner

For today's reflection I want to share with you a portion of a letter that I received this morning by e-mail.It is from a young man who I met while I was living in El Salvador. He has a wife and young children - I was teaching English in the village and he became one of my students. We became friends - he learned English from me but I learned so much about the Salvadoran culture from him and his family.
Since that time he has travelled to several countries working as a Peace Keeper for the United Nations.He stays in touch with me and tells me what is happening in those countries. He is currently in Haiti and he wrote the following letter to me:


Hope everything is fine with you and your love ones.

I'm in Haiti since last march, 18th and will be here for one year or probably more, but I have not decided yet, it will depend on my family.

As you know, back at home I work in the Police Force, they are the ones who sent me here to work for MINUSTAH, United Nations Mission in Haiti. so I'm working as a police officer here.

I have seen may foreigners here, some of them working for United nations, others for NGOs, others for Humanitarian organizations, etc. I have seen some people belonging to religious institutions also working for the Haitians.

The situation in Haiti is not good; thousands of internal displaced people (homeless, living in tents in a country of hurricanes), violence is high (homicides, rapes and kidnapping happen day by day); the political situation seems to be a "time bomb" that can explode at any time. too much poverty; however some people appear to have a lot of money, driving expensive vehicles like "hummer", things are expensive.

My family is ok, but with too much stress because of the serious situation in El Salvador, related with criminals and violence.
take good care of you.

bye, sincerely (EC)


As you go about your life today I ask you to pause and remember the citizens of Haiti and the volunteers who are there to help them. Also reflect on the situation in El Salvador and in many of our own cities here where young gang members are committing acts of violence and killing each other. Ask yourself if there is a way that you can help in some way.

Take a moment for prayer.

Thank you -


p.s. - on a lighter note, I am so proud of how EC expresses himself in English - maybe in some small way I helped him when I was his teacher.

This must be how educators feel when they see their students graduate. :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Total # of U. S. Troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan - 5,542

American Military Casualties in Iraq


American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03):4408
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) (the list)

Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03):3947
Since Handover (6/29/04):3549
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09):180
American WoundedOfficial
Total Wounded:31865

Latest Fatality June 21, 2010

Page last updated 06/22/10 11:50 pm EDT

U.S. Wounded

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq
Journalists - Iraq
Academics Killed - Iraq
Sources: DoD, MNF, and

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator


This week President Obama announced a change in command in Afghanistan - the nation is discussing "who said what" and expressing their personal opinions - very little was mentioned of the men and women who were killed this month, or of their families who mourn them.
87 international troops were killed this month alone. At least 51 of them U.S. soldiers, making June already the most deadly month since the war began.

Take a long, slow look at these numbers of casualties of service persons and many others. Take a look at the photo of a typical 'boy next door' who is now a warrior in a far away land.

What is your opinion? Let me know.