You have left us, but the memories remain as if yesterday were today.
How does one tell the story? How did the journey that ended on July 23 begin?
As part of the many families on Crown Hill between the area of Dennis football field and Mends-Cole house, we grew up imbued with traditional extended family values. After childhood years, we all moved on, in different directions, in search of education. You pursued the highest and finest level of a professional, a doctor of psychiatry, educated in Besancon at the University de Franche-Comte, absorbing with perfection French values in education, philosophy, literature and oratory skills.
The lost election of 1997 led us separately to Abidjan where with Elva Richardson, and supported by Pauline and Appolinaire who is here, we became self-appointed officers of the Kormah Development Corporation. You slowly wound down your practice and other activities to devote time and attention to working with me in setting up and running the corporation.
Going beyond consultancy services, you used exceptional talent to convince regional neighbors and friends to host a meeting in Ouagadougou in July 2002 in an unsuccessful attempt to bring Liberian political leaders together for peace.
We have memories of the countless number of brothers and sisters in Francophone West Africa who then became our hosts and our hope, the countless number of brothers and sisters in the United States who become our sustenance and our look to the future.
The return home in 2003 heralded a new beginning, an opportunity to join compatriots of shared values, to start the processes of returning our country to normalcy. The opportunity to do so came in 2006 after the victorious election in 2005.
From then until now, through the good and difficult days, and despite the distractions, we have kept the promise and the commitment to put country first. This required going beyond the call to duty, foregoing vacation period, working around the clock, something many of our compatriots can never understand.
During this time, the relationship with regional and continental leaders grew strong with your intervention and advocacy. It was common for you to say Madam President, I have discussed this matter with Marcel or with Brian or with Mohammed and your brother will call you.
I know that you are happy for the many, particularly your brother Marcel,
who have honored your service and your memory by joining us during this period of saying Good Bye to you.
Your indefatigable service and relationship at home with local officials, with the Diplomatic Corp and with stakeholders have made you the one Minister liked and respected by everyone.
Your work ethic, your service, your integrity stood out to all, most especially to me over the past eighteen years. For all your human and people skills, for your high sense of worth, no task or job was too big or too small, no one was too big or too small for you to find and form companionship. There was no one in whom I had more explicit trust and confidence. There was no one more loyal than you. There was simply no one like you.
It hurts today to realize that you had major health problems which you ignored as you labored to help the Administration achieve its agenda. You suffered in silence as you kept the promise and walked the talk for all of us.
We can never match what you represented–intelligence surpassed only by humility; friendship surpassed only by loyalty; integrity, surpassed only by strong moral values; service surpassed only by selfless dedication.
Our mothers, who were strong Christian friends, taught us as children those values from which we can never depart. This became our strength. This became our bond.
Your unexpected departure came too early, leaving a deep hurt and a void that cannot be filled. My minister, my brother, my friend, go to your well-earned eternal peace and rest. Your memories we will have forever.