The Ethiopian community in Aurora, Colorado was already planning to get together on Sunday night to celebrate a historic day, but that celebration became bittersweet with the news of an Ethiopian plane crashing and killing everyone on board.
“It was just heartbreaking,” said Neb Asfaw, a community organizer. “I’m just numbed really.”
Asfaw and many others gathered to celebrate the 123rd anniversary of the victory of Italy in the Battle of Adwa, when Ethiopians became the only African country to resist being colonized by Europe.
“It heralded in a way the beginning of the liberation movement in most African states, even the civil rights movement here in the United States,” said Deacon Yoseph Tafari, the chairman of the Ethiopian Civic Council.
Every year, the Ethiopian community re-enacts the victory, but the celebration ended in mourning this year with a prayer for the 157 people killed.
But Asfaw says the rest of the world isn’t always as heartbroken when tragedies happen in Africa.
“It’s really unfortunate that people give different values to different communities,” he said. “But globally we’re all the same boat, we’re all connected and our destinies are intertwined.
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