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25220: Hermantin(News)Haitian Flag Day Celebrated in North Miami (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted on Thu, May. 26, 2005
HAITIANS REVEL HISTORY
HAITIAN FLAG DAY WAS CELEBRATED IN NORTH MIAMI WITH MIXED FEELINGS AS THE
CITY COUNCIL'S FOUR-YEAR HAITIAN-AMERICAN MAJORITY COMES TO AN END
BY TIM HENDERSON
Haitian Flag Day was a rollicking but bittersweet time for North Miami's
Haitian-American community, as teens danced and Mayor Joe Celestin hugged
supporters in his last week as mayor.
There were dance acts, food and brief speeches as teens danced to DJ Frankie
Mix-a-lot. Council member Jacques Despinosse told Mayor-elect Kevin Burns
that he'd like to make the event more educational next year.
Between the musical events, there could be presentations on the meaning of
Haiti's flag, Despinosse suggested.
''This is a beautiful event, and next year we'll give you something to take
home,'' he told the crowd.
The May 18 event was sponsored by the city and County Commissioner Dorrin
North Miami Senior High School had educational events about the flag during
the day, and there were displays next door at the North Miami Public Library
in observance of Haitian Heritage Month.
The library had a puppet show based on Haitian folk tales and brought out a
selection of books and websites on Haitian history and issues, said Bill
Painter, the youth services librarian.
Celestin, who must leave because of term limits, will be succeeded by Burns
after an election that ended the City Council's Haitian-American majority.
Burns defeated Jean Monestime, who was Celestin's choice for the job.
''Some people who did not vote for Jean are feeling a lot of remorse,''
Celestin said, adding that supporters have already opened a campaign office
to reelect him in 2007, though he's not sure yet that he'll run.
Monestime has called for the community to accept his defeat.
''Kevin Burns is our mayor,'' he told local radio station Planet 17 (1700
AM), after the election.
''We have to stop thinking that we are separate from the rest of the
community.'' Monestime said.