UNMIL Holds Memorial Service
By: Melissa Chea-Annan
It was a solemn scene yesterday at the headquarters of UNMIL, when the UNMIL boss, Amb. Jacques Paul Klein wept openly as he embraced the survivors of last year’s bombing incident at the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
The ceremony was a memorial service in observance of the first anniversary of the bombing of the United Nation’s headquarters in Iraq on August 19, 2003.
Four of the survivors who attended yesterday’s ceremony include Margrit
Hrandian(Iraqi), Patsey Mullings (Jamaican), Adam Abdelmoula (Sudanese),
and Rao Tubmanburg, whose nationality was not revealed.
A special message from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said that the recent attack on the Canal Hotel has brought the UN family face to face with danger in a new and more intimidating form.
Reading Dr. Annan’s message, Amb. Jacques Paul Klein described the
Baghdad bombing as a personal tragedy, especially for the families and loved
ones of the 22 persons who died, and those who suffered severe injuries
following the attack.
According to him, the UN family is no stranger to violence and intimidation in that they have mourned the loss of hundreds of their colleagues over the years, and again, they are now wrestling with wrenching fundamental questions.
He indicated that the families and loved ones of their fallen colleagues, as well as the survivors and those injured on that awful day have all mustered extraordinary strength and courage to to survive this past year. He added that the UN family will continue to stand by them in their grief and suffering, “I pray, so that however long it takes the perpetrators are held to account and do not get away with this cold-blooded murder”.
Amb. Klein in a sorrowful mood, with tears streaming down his eyes, called on the audience to stand for a moment of silence in remembrance of the dead. The UNMIL boss who could no longer hold his tears after embracing the survivors of the attack, said in a cracked voice “thank you”, and concluded the ceremony.