US Embassy honours staff killed in 1994 Genocide

KIGALI - The United States community in Kigali yesterday joined orphans and other Rwandans to pay homage to 25 of their staff members who were killed during the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.
US Ambassador Stuart Symington laying a wreath at the memorial plaque at the Embassy gardens yesterday. (Photo/ G. Barya).
US Ambassador Stuart Symington laying a wreath at the memorial plaque at the Embassy gardens yesterday. (Photo/ G. Barya).

KIGALI - The United States community in Kigali yesterday joined orphans and other Rwandans to pay homage to 25 of their staff members who were killed during the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

The function that took place at the US Embassy in Kacyiru served as an occasion to unveil a plaque that is placed in their garden, and pictures of those who passed away in their memory.

Many in the gathering could not hold back tears as wreaths were being laid on the plaque, and as speeches were said, along with comforting songs by the Prince of Peace choir.

“It’s now 15 years without hearing words like Dad and Mum,” a tearful Blaise Ishimwe said as he delivered his remarks on behalf of the orphans.

Ishimwe who expects to graduate next year from university said there is a message of hope and courage, considering what has been achieved since 1994, thanks to whoever played a helping role.

“Yesterday we were young and helpless children, but today we are beautiful girls and smart boys,” he noted, comforting his fellow orphans.

He also extended his gratitude to the US Embassy for having organised such an event, saying that orphans could not have done it themselves, as some of them don’t even know where their beloved ones were killed.

Charles Mugabo who spoke on behalf of the embassy staff said that hope can be perceived through the young survivors who are struggling in university studies, which sends a message that the future has a different story from the past.

“Fifteen years after the Genocide, Rwanda has a lot to tell to the rest of the world, demonstrating that it is possible to go beyond atrocities and work for development,” he said, adding that their thoughts and support go to survivors of Genocide, hoping they received “God’s blessings.”

The US Embassy also promised school fees for the orphans for the second term which is expected to open next week.

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