PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Haitians observed a day of mourning Friday to remember the more than 217,000 people killed a month ago in the earthquake, authorities said.
Roman Catholic clergy and Voodoo leaders joined to lead a service near the rubble of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, with the nation's president, Rene Preval urging mourners to stay strong.
"Haiti will not die. Haiti must not die," Preval said at the service. "Wipe away your tears to rebuild Haiti."
Other prayer services included one at the site of a mass grave north of Port-au-Prince, in Titanyen, where tens of thousands of earthquake victims were buried after the 7-magnitude Jan. 12 quake.
Nearly one million Haitians remain homeless and the rainy season is due to begin with many people living under flimsy tarps while waiting for aid agencies to deliver more tents and stronger shelters, the BBC reported.
The U.S. military has 13,000 troops on the ground in Haiti aiding the victims and the European Union has proposed sending additional troops to speed the building of shelters.