Our father, Daddy, Bossman, Chief and Pater Familias wrote entries in this column as part of his Let’s Lecture series. He used this column as a platform to give voice to the urgent needs of the Liberian people and to remind our leaders of their duty to protect and serve.
His last entry was on December 22, 2015. Less than 6 weeks later, he would be found murdered with his mutilated body found steps from and in plain view of the seat of the Liberian presidency.
As we’ve picked up the pieces from our tremendous loss, we’ve come to know and admire even more about this man we loved in many different ways. In the midst of our grief, we’ve met people whose lives he changed, children whose school fees he paid, Liberian businesses he supported and countless persons to whose homes he would send provisions out of the goodness of his heart. We’ve heard from his schoolmates who remembered his smarts and athleticism as a boy. We’ve seen the details of the tireless work he did on behalf of the people of Kokoyah District, Grand Bassa.
Daddy saw public service as his life’s mission and pursued it the best he knew how as a voice and challenger of the status quo. His work on behalf of the Liberian people did not start and nor did it end with LPRC. When he served in in government, in several roles, he executed his duties with integrity in spite of accusations to the contrary. He continued to labor on behalf of the Liberian people as a private citizen up to the time of his murder. We are proud that his single final mission was to bring electricity to a nation of barely 4 million people that continues to be blanketed in darkness in the 21st century.
Knowing all that we know about this great man and son of the Liberian soil, we’re forever proud to be called his children.
Daddy, You taught us leadership and what it means to be true to oneself. To speak the truth and believe that one person can make a difference. You taught us that leadership, true leadership, is about how you interact with people.
You taught us that integrity is something you keep even and especially when no one is watching. You taught us to let excellence be our measure. We are proud to have had a father who never compromised who he was. One who spoke the truth, loudly and did not run for cover. You loved this country deeply and died trying to see her become a better version of herself and for that we salute you, Daddy. Thank you for your sacrifice, perseverance and most of all for your tenacity.
The dignity, respect and purpose with which you raised us to live we will never abandon. You will be found in all that we do. We, along with the countless others you’ve inspired, are your dignity. We are your respect and we are your legacy and this is just the beginning.
Daddy’s undertakings in providing basic services to his fellow Liberians, whether in education or electrification, we will continue to work towards. The truthtelling that remained at the center of his work both in government and as a private citizen, we are called to continue. Through us, and the many other people young and old whose lives he touched, his legacy will stand the test of time.
One year after his murder, we and the Liberian people are no closer to truth and justice than we were the morning of that fateful last day of January 2016. Our front row seat to the lies and cover ups in the days, weeks and months that followed have assured us of one thing: he was murdered.
That we and this nation are aggrieved and continue to be aggrieved by murders that go “unsolved” is an understatement and the persistence of this version of malice has become an increasingly tragic legacy of our time.
The God we all serve is one of justice and, as Dr. King so rightly put it, the moral arc of the Universe is long but it always, always bends to justice and in that we take the greatest comfort.
As we mark the first year since Daddy’s murder, we wanted to thank you the Liberian people for your unwavering support, prayers, acts of kindness and well-wishes over the course of what has been a heart-wrenching and difficult year. You forever have our gratitude for calling, writing, demonstrating and questioning on our behalf. May God richly bless each of you as you’ve showed love and support to our family.
Forever Greaves Strong. Harry lives on. Everyday.
Kaeifley, Yuku, Madia and Emem
Daughters of the Late Harry A. Greaves, Jr.