Milwaukee World Refugee Day highlighted the plight of displaced people around the world on June 20. A crowd of more than one hundred gathered at Pere Marquette Park to remember, honor, and bring attention to the suffering of 65 million people who have been driven from their homes, mostly due to war.

“I will tell you a true story about a kid. Out of thousands of kids who lost their loved ones, not to mention parts of their soft young bodies. This happened just two weeks ago. I belong to the Syrian American Medical Society and through Viber I get messages daily. Hundreds of messages daily from these ICUs inside Syria that we built, telling us about the horrors that the Syrians are going through. One of these kids was seven years old. The photo arrived before the text came to my cell phone. The photo showed the body of a very young child. The right leg was safe and complete, the left leg was severed completely from the thigh. Imagine your child right now without a thy, without a leg, because of a Russian bomb thrown by forces from the Syrian government. This kid had to wake up a few hours later to realize that not only were his parents lost to that bomb, but his leg also. If we had opened our hearts and our homes to this young boy, he might have been with us today. And the tragedy goes further, like the post-traumatic stress disorder that we saw at the camps in Jordan. Or the depression and anxiety that these kids have right now. We have thousands of kids that need psychosocial help. We are all immigrants and we are all human beings. It doesn’t matter where you come from if you need help.” – Dr. Tarif Bakdash

Read the article and view the photo essay that was produced as companion features for this news report.