An event commemorating Colonel Kassa Gebremariam and the launching of the book in Ethiopia for the first time were held on July 8, 2017 at Addis Ababa Hilton. For the author and the rest of the family it was a long awaited special moment. They were anxious, overwhelmed with anxiety, anticipation and expectations. After everything is being said and done they certainly were full of excitements and joy. For the author, however, it was more of like the fulfillment of a life time’s dream or an accomplishment of a huge mission. It really turned out to be great with a whole lot of love, respect, appreciation and honor for Colonel Kassa Gebremariam.
At the occasion the former President Ato Girma Woldegiorgis, former high ranking officials like Captain Fikreselassie Wogderes and Colonel Fissha Desta, many former Ethiopian Army generals, high and low ranking officers and other members the army, some high ranking civil officials and well known figures were present. The military attaches of the U.S.A. and Canada were present as well.
After an introduction by Major Argaw Kabtamu the author’s son Kassa Kassahun made a short speech and introduced his mother. She then took over the stage, thanked everyone for coming and explained the making of the book, told some touching experiences, jokes from the book, and etc. Probably the most touching moment of her speech was when she told the audience that her mom passed away as she anxiously awaited for the book to come out. At this moment she thinks that both her parents are watching the occasion and that they are happy and proud of her; for that she gave special thanks to God.
It was then followed by Br. General Tesfaye Habtemariam, Captain Girzachew Wondirad, Br. General Kassaye Chemeda, Colonel Simret Medhanie (former Ethiopian Airlines manager) and Captain Girma Assfaw’s speeches consecutively. To give you just the highlights of the speeches here are some quotes from the speakers:
“I had served under Col. Kassa Gebremariam for over 15 years, and had witnessed his commanding and leading qualities to be unique and exceptional.. . . Colonel Kassa Gebremariam is a heroic son of Ethiopia whose story has not spread enough; he is the ‘Unsung Hero of Ethiopia’. History will never forget Col. Kassa Gebremariam – he will be remembered by generations to come.” Br. General Tesfaye Habtemariam.
“I once saw a quotation that said, ‘History and a country never die’; I am very pleased to witness that his daughter, Dr. Sentayehu Kassa, by writing his biography proved that Col. Kassa Gebremariam’s story never died.” Captain Gizachew Wondirad.
“We all that have gathered here agree with the fact that Col. Kassa Gebremariam loved his country over everything, was a strong spirited, resolute hero with distinguished military science knowledge. On the other side he was warm-hearted, generous, kind, and good-humored as well. . . . As we commemorate him with this book today, I see Ethiopia commemorating Col. Kassa Gebremariam with what he deserves in the near future.” Br. General Kassaye Chemeda.
“What Col Kassa Gebremariam and his group accomplished in the early days of Air Marshall’s history were exemplary not only for Ethiopia but for the World Aviation at large. Hence, they should be remembered and deserve to be appreciated for that.” Col. Semret Medhanie
“As that of Mekdela’s Kassa (Emperor Tewdros) Rora Tselim’s Kassa Gebremariam honorably scarified himself for his country and its flag. May we respect and honor our heroes!” Captain Girma Assfaw (a survivor and eye-witness of the last mission of Col. Kassa Gebremariam.)