Introduction by Charles Krause

Photo by Rex Morningstar

I’m very pleased to be here today. I’m Charles Krause. I was with the Washington Post. I was a reporter who accompanied Congressman Ryan into Jonestown and was one of those who was wounded on the airstrip when he was killed, and these whole various tragedies sort of began to unfold that day. I’m here, and I want to thank the organizers of the memorial service for inviting me and for inviting Ambassador Karran, Guyana’s ambassador to the United States. I know that he is here to express on a kind of mission of peace and reconciliation, because there are many of us, many different parties, who were part of this whole tragedy, and it’s important, because many people in the United States only have one image of Guyana, and they associate Guyana with Jonestown, and they really don’t know much about the country or the people there. And it’s important that Guyana too put the past to rest, and for all of us to go forward, remembering what happened, because there are important lessons for all of us, but moving forward. And I think that’s the spirit that is being expressed here today, and that’s how I feel personally, and I know that’s how Ambassador Karran feels as well. He is one of Guyana’s most distinguished diplomats, he is both ambassador to the United States as well as the ambassador to the Organization of American States. He represents Guyana in a number of international institutions that are working with the country to improve its economy and to see progress in Guyana. So it’s in that spirit of reconciliation that Ambassador Karran is here today, and I hope you’ll welcome him and hear what he has to say.