by Armen Kara
Class of 2010
October 13, 2006
Today we gather to celebrate the undying spirit of your loved ones - the spirit that compelled each one of them to entrust to our medical class their gift to humanity. Their altruism is unquestioned; the belief inscribed within them that life’s meaning is to serve others is evidence of their generous offering.
I would like to say “thank you” to each individual that made this truly magnanimous decision. The donation that you have bestowed to our class is invaluable. The knowledge, gained through your charity, exists not only within the minds of our medical class but will prevail eternally throughout the medical community.
Each one of your loved ones welcomed my peers and me to explore their anatomy and uncover vast amounts of knowledge hidden deep within its recesses. They became our teachers and our friends. I spent more time in these last ten weeks with each of them than I spent with any other person and I am blessed and grateful to have done so. I strived to learn in intricate detail the mechanics and uniquities of each individual; each person tells a different story and I am indebted to have learned the complex and sometimes enigmatic features of those stories. Their benevolence opened up a wealth of information to our class; they gifted themselves so that others can live, so that future societies can gain from their wisdom, and their bodies serve as a constant reminder of the grace of their existence.
I would like the audience to recognize that your loved ones possess unparalleled courage, moral courage, and to quote Douglas MacArthur, the courage of one’s convictions…the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant battle against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle; the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other. Your loved ones possess the consciousness that transcends life on Earth itself. It is the deep awareness that the fruition of the gift they gave will be the betterment of mankind. Your loved ones remained steadfast in their decision to benefit humanity, spurning objectors who believed that their choices were miscalculated. This level of wisdom, the insight into what life stands for is not achieved by all. The fact that your loved ones had the ability to see through life’s perplexities and realize that it is to be shared, communicates volumes about their character. Friends: take solace in the fact that this person close to your heart did not fear death, but embraced it with joy and hope for the future. And remember that their gift of knowledge is enduring because those who embrace death truly live forever.