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Selected Speeches Of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I



ON THE DEATH OF THE PRINCE MAKONNEN


May the Almighty God reward you—all our people, young and old and the thousands of students who have so profoundly shared our grief in the heavy blow we have sustained on the passing of our son, Prince Makonnen. Itegue and I are most thankful for your expression of sympathy.

The share that all our people has taken in our sorrow has helped to comfort us. The students whom, with God's help we have provided with education, have with their faithful hearts expressed their grief with tears while we followed the last remains of our son in his funeral. Though he (the deceased Prince) is our son in flesh and blood—those are our children in education. The school boys and girls shed their tears as if for a devoted brother or sister.

Moreover, the telegrams of sympathy which we have received from dignitaries, officials, from foreign lands and from all over the Empire have greatly comforted us. As he is our son and your son, our grief has become your grief.

We loved our son Makonnen in two ways: In the first, because he is our son. Thus our sorrow under the shadow of his death is that of the heavy-laden heart of a parent at the loss of a child. Secondly, since he was a child he was always beside us offering us essential aid and service. Besides, at the age of 12, during the war, reluctant to separate from us, he marched with us to Dessie helping us to protect ourselves from the raining bombs.

When we were in exile he was Our source of comfort. During his youth he determined to set a good mental and decorous example to those whom we prepared to participate in the progress of our country, thus exemplifying his will, his efforts and his farsightedness.

In his humane reminders to us concerning the poor and indigent, he sought and obtained relief for them. These acts we leave to those who received his benevolence, to recall. Though young he brought constantly to our attention the conditions of all those who deserved help, doing so even very late at night, foregoing all youthful diversion. Young as he was he was so mentally mature that he advised us like an elderly person.

We brought him up by feeding him with a nursing bottle, while his mother gave him her breast. We had hoped that we might precede him, but unexpectedly this tragic loss has deprived us of him. Even if we comply fully with God's commands and take care of his wife and children, can this to us be a substitute for Makonnen? However, Makonnen cannot be to us more than the whole Ethiopian people who are our sons and daughters.

Mortality is man’s inevitable course. We must patiently accept God's resolution in giving us Makonnen, the one whom He gave us to be the ornament of our life, and recalling him. Today is the third day since we have laid him to rest, and we must go to him since he cannot come to us.

Let us all return to the services for which we have been chosen. We must save ourselves so that we may be of service to others. May God accept the tears that were shed and use the hearts of those who have shed them to the progress of our country. So let us return to our duties.

May 18, 1957.


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Electronic edition created and published online by members of the
Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

September 27, 2017