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Tribute by Aklilu Demessie

Prf. Getatchew Haile (eulogy): We are under the shadow of a great loss in the passing away of our beloved and venerated teacher, father, friend and a family man, Gashe Getatchew Haile; a household name in our community. He was indeed a friend to everyone irrespective of their national origin or ethnicity. It is sufficient to see those that are present at his funeral gathering to support my claim. He was indeed a great friend to all that new him closely. He was a faithful friend to all. A faithful friend is a strong defense; and he that has found him has found a treasure. Gashe Getatchew was a lifelong friend and defender of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. He defended our history, culture, and homeland tirelessly thru his prolific writings, with his soft, but firm speeches and demonstrated love of country. No one who has had a moment with him left without being alerted to a new way of looking at issues from a different perspectives and angles. At least that was my experience whenever I have had a phone conversation with him. There are many us that have been his lifetime friends. It is idle having planted a tree in the morning to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the same tree. So, life goes on. "For years we plant the seed, we feel ourselves rich; then comes other years when time does its work, and our plantation is made sparse and thin. One by one our role models slip away depriving of their shade". Gashe Getatchew was my hero and my shade. I already miss him deeply. He was a towering figure in the Ethiopian Community and around the globe. His life was an epitome of courage, vision, and deep faith. He was a man of great intellect and big heart. His unlimited energy, his unshakable integrity and demonstrated love of country has endeared him to all Ethiopians without exception. He was and is Ethiopia’s treasure and my hero, our hero. May his soul rest in peace and give his beloved wife Etiye Misrak and all his children and the bereaved family the strength to endure.

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