Ryan Pourjam, in his speech, described his father as strong and said that he was a positive person. He also said that he wanted his loved ones to remain optimistic during all tough times.
A video of a 13-year old's emotional speech for his father who died in the Iran plane crash has gone viral for the young man's maturity.
On Thursday, Ryan Pourjam gave a speech at a memorial service held at Carleton University in Canada, where his father Mansour earned his biology degree. The video was shared by Canadian politician Catherine McKenna, and she had praised his poise.
Ryan described his father as a strong man and said that he was a positive person who wanted his loved ones to remain optimistic through tough 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," Ryan said.
Watch the 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
Mansour Pourjam was among the 176 people killed after a Ukranian airline's aircraft crashed on January 8 soon after taking off from Tehran. Though Iran initially denied allegations,it later released a statement admitting that it had shot down the aircraft and blamed a "human error" amid heightened tensions with the US military.
People who saw the teenager's speech praised his grace and dignity. Here are some of the reactions:
Am amazing young man who speaks so eloquently about his loss. May he find continued peace.
— Inspired By My Mom (@InspiredByMyMom) January 16, 2020
Ryan, you are incredible. I’m sorry this happened. I trust your dad’s words will comfort you and strengthen you throughout your life. Your heartfelt words are inspiring.
— Jess (@jessskoog) January 16, 2020
So composed. Stay strong Ryan
— Anu Dubey (@anudubey2) January 16, 2020
A 13-year old must never have to endure the pain of reading his father’s obituary.
— Aun Mela (@aunmela) January 16, 2020
Correction! Last weeks TERRORIST ATTACK!!
— J (@eaztenderz) January 17, 2020
What an incredible kid. He’s clearly destined to do great things that would make his dad proud.
— marshanfrommarz (@marshanfrommarz) January 16, 2020
I have no words adequate or eloquent enough to describe what grace, dignity & strength this young man has. The world will be a better place because of the gift his fallen father bestowed upon us all raising this young man. Deepest sympathy to him & all blessed to know his father.
— Dogmama (@1K9luvr) January 16, 2020
Wow...to Ryan...Mansour must have been a wonderful teacher, he taught you strength, dignity & grace. Thank you for sharing 💕
Condolences to your family and all families affected by this tradgedy. Much love to all of you.
— MarilynShampoo (@ShampooMarilyn) January 16, 2020
The sad part is his grief hasn’t hit him yet. It’s manageable to be strong when you’re being held up by people around you. The fall comes when they go back to their lives. This was an unbelievably unnecessary tragedy that these families have to cope with. All for politics. So sad
— Kelly🇨🇦 (@momma72of2) January 16, 2020
It was SHOT DOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you 🤡
— jay (@homerjay71) January 17, 2020
An incredibly brave young man. I love how he said he didn’t want to focus on the bad because he father never did. I was overcome with emotion watching him.
— Andréa ‘Drew’ Rousseau 🇨🇦 (@halffootrunner) January 16, 2020
What a sweet young boy. His dad was clearly a great influence on him. So sad.
— Vicki Campbell 🇨🇦 (@merry123459) January 16, 2020
This young man showed amazing maturity and a gentle nature for having experienced such a tragedy.
— Barb Brookes (@Traveldogs36) January 16, 2020
Wow, what a tribute to a father and what a father - such a loss!
— Glenn Manderson (@GHManderson) January 16, 2020
Over 200 people were in attendance for the memorial service which was for Pourjam and another victim Fareed Arasteh, a PhD student in the university. Ryan, in his speech, said that he was moved to see so many people who came together to celebrate the lives of the two victims.