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Haiti Commemoration Poignant For Duluth Church

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Haiti Damage, Hurricane Tomas

Victims of Haiti’s latest disaster, Hurricane Tomas, struggle with mud and flood water in a tent city refugee camp. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Churches, schools and city halls around Minnesota will join with many more nationwide in tolling their bells to commemorate the anniversary of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake and the 300,000 people killed, but it will be particularly poignant for one Duluth church.

One victim of the quake was Ben Larson, the seminary student son of pastors April Ulring and Judd Larson at First Lutheran Church in Duluth. Larson, who was a student at Luther Seminary in Decorah, Iowa, died in the earthquake while on a mission trip in Haiti.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that organized prayers will be held throughout the day in First Lutheran’s sanctuary, and that it will join in the 3:53 p.m. bell-ringing to mark the moment the quake struck. The bells will toll for 35 seconds, the duration of the quake.

The Bells for Haiti initiative was started by a group of Haiti advocates of Minnesota but the idea quickly spread to numerous other states as well as Haiti itself.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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