A week after losing his father in the Iran plane crash, a thirteen-year-old boy gave an emotional speech about who his father - Mansour Porjam - was and the life lessons he left behind for him.
Ryan Pourjam delivered the speech at a memorial service at Carleton University. His father earned his degree in biology there in 2001 and went on to become a dental technician in Ottawa, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
In his speech, Ryan spoke about how his dad was a positive person who always taught him to be optimistic in hard times.
"He’d always tell me to stay positive through the dark times and through the good, when we'd get stuck in traffic or when I couldn't get the coffee that I wanted," he said.
"I don’t want to talk about the bad things," he continued. "Because I know that if my dad was alive and if someone else died in the crash and that he was right here giving a speech, he wouldn't talk about the bad stuff. I won’t."
While so many of us struggle to find the words to express our sadness over the many lives lost in last week's horrific plane crash, 13-year-old Ryan — who lost his beloved father, Mansour — shows unbelievable poise in the face of extreme tragedy. We can all learn from Ryan. pic.twitter.com/L5fePoKiKN— Catherine McKenna (@cathmckenna) January 16, 2020
Mansour and Fareed Arasteh were two of the 176 passengers who lost their lives when Iranian forces shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 after takeoff in Tehran.
"I look to the audience and I see his family, his friends, some relationships that he built over decades and it comforts me because they're here to celebrate Mansour and Fareed's amazing lives," Ryan said.
"They've touched every single person in the audience. It's amazing."
Ryan said his father had his fair share of challenges, but always overcame them.
"He's been through tragedy after tragedy, wall after wall, wrong turn after wrong turn — and he stood strong," Ryan said.
Ryan got roaring applause as he finished his touching speech and thanked the audience for coming to the memorial.