Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ghana Honors President Mills' Death With "One Week" National Mourning

The world has grieved with Ghana this past week after our sitting President was pronounced dead at the 37 Military hospital in Accra on July 24, 2012. It's not clear what killed him as no official reports have surfaced but it is of common knowledge, though never publicly admitted, that the president was suffering from throat cancer. And today, according to tradition with mourning of the dead, Ghana will honor John Evans Atta Mills on his "one week."

This has all been an experience for me. The excitement that came with voting for the first time in Ghana was something else. The process of really studying each political party to carefully align with or identify with one that speaks to my political ideologies has been exciting. I've been patiently waiting, while itching for December 7th, to cast my vote for whomever deserves it and is able to win it - I'm not affiliated with any one party. I guess I can be labeled as a swinger/independent. But, I must say, the death of the president has really shaken me and somehow I'm grateful I could be home, in Ghana, to experience it for myself. You can read my coverage of it for Global Voices here

I'll be updating this post throughout the day to reflect what's happening on this "One Week" day of mourning for the nation. This morning, Accra residents are visibly mourning. Some have tied their heads or wrists with red strips of cloth symbolic of a mourning state in the Ghanaian culture. Some commercial vehicles and private ones have tied these strips of cloth to their cars to indicate bereavement. See image below.

A taxi driver on the Avenor road leading to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra ties his red strip of cloth on his side mirror in honor of President Mills' "One Week" national mourning.

 And some private homes are showing support to the president's family with the display below.
A private house displays an image of the ex-president and cloths in traditional mourning colors to mark the national "One Week" mourning.

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