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Thousands of people gathered in Haiti today for a national day of mourning, one month after a devastating earthquake hit the country killing an estimated 217,000 people.

The day of mourning was led by religious leaders of the country’s two official religions, Catholicism and Voodoo.

Survivors were asked to wear black during the ceremonies which have been ongoing since 6:00 a.m.

A tearful President Rene Preval was quoted by the Associated Press as saying,

“The pain is too heavy — Words cannot explain it.”

The people of Haiti are asking for a worldwide moment of silence at 4:53 p.m. today, the time the earthquake hit.