13-year-old Ryan Pourjam lost his father, Mansour, a few days ago in a plane crash after Iran's government shot down a Ukrainian Boeing 737, killing all 176 on board the flight. Most of the passengers belonged to either Canada or Iran.
Initially, the Iran government had blamed technical issues for the crash but later released a statement saying that "human error" had caused the plane to be shot down.
Ryan gave an emotional speech at Carlton University, where a memorial service had been held on Wednesday. Mansour Pourjam had been a student of the university in the year 2001 and had been working as a dental technician in Ottawa, according to reports.
"I can't remember a single time in my life when my father, Mansour, had any trace of negativity in his voice or actions. 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," the young boy said.
"I don’t want to talk about the bad things. 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," the boy continued."
Ryan also said that if he was asked about one word to describe his father, it would be "strong", because his father had stood strong in the face of multiple adversities and tough times.
Your heart is sure to break when the child says "He was amazing, and we loved each other."
You can watch the full video here:
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