Haitian Prime Minister Visits Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/09/05

Haitian Prime Minister Visits Savannah

Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue (left) meets with Savannah Mayor Dr. Otis Johnson. Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue (left) meets with Savannah Mayor Dr. Otis Johnson.

The Prime Minister of Haiti visited Savannah to acknowledge his country's role in America's independence. The Haitian people played a very important part in the American Revolution. Now, Savannah and the Haitian American community are paying tribute to that contribution.

Saturday night at the Savannah History Museum, Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue came to Savannah to show his support for a new monument honoring the Haitian soldiers who fought in the Siege of Savannah. Savannah city officials approved the monument on Friday. The prime minister explained that the Siege of Savannah is very important to his country's history. He's pleased Haiti's role in the Revolutionary War will now have a more prominent place in our history.

"We always talk about the Savannah battle in my history books," Prime Minister Latortue said. "It is the first thing we learn about. Our people came here to fight with the Americans for their independence."

He told Savannah city officials he wasn't sure this day would come. "At the beginning it sounded like it was a dream that would never be realized," he said. "I'm very happy that the people here, the mayor in Savannah, the previous mayor also, they're keeping the idea and now I believe this is becoming a reality."

Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson said he hopes to see the monument realized in the coming months. The Haitian American Historical Society still needs to raise more than $500,000 to pay for it. They believe Prime Minister Latortue's visit will encourage more support for the project.

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