I was in Haiti very, very briefly in the mid-1990s as part of a group of newspaper and television reporters and photographers who went with a Travis Air Force Base C-5 crew transporting an Air Force combat communications unit to Port-au-Prince along with the unit’s equipment.
The Air Force crews were there to support other military forces sent to restore order in the wake of a political overthrow, as I recall.
The news crews were not allowed away from the Port-au-Prince Airport, but we could see shanty homes on the hillside overlooking the airport, the same sort of shoddily built structures that came down during the 7.0 earthquake there yesterday.
And we were told by military sources that the bodies of people killed during the overthrow were stacked like cord wood.
Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has had a long, sad history.
Here’s a link to the National Public Radio story. Once there, you can find lists and links to make donations to help.