The children of Miracle Choir with U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte, Jr. Photo by FRANCIS TAYLOR They came to the Southland, during the Martin Luther King weekend, visited USC, the Korean community and participated in the Kingdom Day parade
Imagine children, ages eight through 15, born and raised in Haiti, singing and speaking Korean. They are the Miracle Choir and they were fantastic: visiting Town & Gown at USC; having lunch and singing in Koreatown; taking part in the Los Angeles Kingdom Day Parade; and visiting with U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr., (himself born of Haitian parents).All of this was made possible through Rev. Back Sam Sook, of the Sarang Church in Haiti (pastor and guardian of the children); Grandmaster Tong Suk Chun, president & CEO of World Cultural & Sports Foundation, Inc.; and Larry Grant, founder and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. parade.According to Grant, " I have known Grandmaster Suk Chun for over 20 years and none of this (the children's visit) would be possible without him. Matter of fact, I was the best man at his wedding."Also Rev. Sam Sook stated, "the Korean Presbyterian Church in Haiti is in the process of building a multi-million dollar school in Port au Prince (the capital of Haiti). We already have 14 acres of land and construction is scheduled to begin in March. It will be an elementary, junior and high school." The day after the children took part in the King parade, they visited the office of U.S. Attorney Birotte who welcomed his "little homies" in the main conference room of his office on the 12th floor of the U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles. "You represent a lot of hope," Birotte said as he welcomed and greeted the youngsters who were accompanied by the young adult Haitian musicians and the Korean contingent who sponsored their trip. "I am sure you have many different stories to tell about your experiences in Haiti and I wanted to meet with you and welcome you to Los Angeles.""My parents were born in Port au Prince," he added. "And while I no longer have any relatives in Haiti, it represents something very special to me and is very much a part of my life. I hope to visit the island later this year." Birotte said that he was proud to see so many Haitians in one place, at the same time in Los Angeles. "Unlike the East Coast, where I was reared, I do not see many Haitians in Los Angeles. I want you to know how very proud I am of you and let you know that you offer hope for all of us," he said.Before a photo session with the choir members, the musicians, and the Korean sponsors, Birotte provided the visitors with a gift bag with mementos from the office of the US Department of Justice. Among other items, he gave everyone the commemorative 'United States Attorney's Office, Central District of California, Department of Justice,' coin.Prior to his appointment by President Barack Obama and his confirmation by the U.S. Senate to his present post, Birotte had been the Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department. He is a member of the Langston Bar Association and he served on its board of directors from 1992 through 2003. He also serves as a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Judicial Appointments Committee and Criminal Justice Executive Committee. In addition, Birotte has taught legal writing and advocacy at the University of Southern California Law School.Birotte said that he hoped to see them again in Haiti, later this year.