By Abel Ghirmai, Seattle, WA, August 28, 2012
It is official. Close to nine hundred Ethiopian Americans that reside in the state of Washington attended the memorial service and pledged to stand by all Ethiopians from all walks of life to carry the torch and make the dreams of the late Prime mister a reality.
To be quite candid, when I personally sometimes experience being hopeless, it is usually something inside of me that totally gives up. On the other hand, losing someone you admire, someone you look up to is like losing a dream or even your own track in life. This Sunday was a beautiful 75 degrees sun splashed gorgeous blue skies with the puffs of cotton-boll clouds in Seattle, but was hardly representing of the pleasant climate with the Ethiopian Community. The death of PM Meles Zenawi has overshadowed the sunshine with grief, feeling hopelessness, and emotional pain. Seattle and surrounding areas residents’ diverse team took the initiative to form a committee so we may have our day to grief and celebrate the life of the noble leader. I wonder if the late PM was aware that he was admired, loved, and the incredibly footprint he had left. Without a doubt he was the mastermind behind the flourishing economy and cohesiveness he had created between all races and background of Ethiopians. In time of crises, he demonstrated the ability to endure adversity and move forward to overcome hindrance. His skills in recognizing possible obstacles before they become one were phenomenal. The statement he made one time “Let’s negotiate while we fight and fight while we negotiate” truly reflect his competences. His visions were realistic, inclusive, and crystal clear.
It was evident the attendees have had the utmost love and respect of the leader. Poems were read by diverse people to reflect their admiration and the pains they had to endure. My breakpoint was when a bright young lady stepped in to the podium to share the memories where the leader held her tightly and fed her a bottle of milk when she was just an infant during the struggle for freedom. She vowed to do her part in making the dreams he had convened a reality. Scores of admirers, family members, friends, and his former comrades also grieved and cried uncontrollably.
What I personally witnessed during the service was love, harmony, resilience, and a determination to make his dreams a reality.
Dear Prime Minster, it is so difficult to bid a farewell to someone that we truly admire and love. Unfortunately, life and death are inevitable truths. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will not let you down.
Our heartfelt deepest appreciation also goes to the volunteers who made it happen. We are enormously indebted. Because of their community spirit, teamwork, and dedication, we were able to honor the leader. Now, let’s get back to work!