Ceremony celebrates life of Tayyara
December 2, 2008
Don’t call it a memorial.
Monday night’s Daughters of the American Revolution ceremony was a celebration of Moffat County Commissioner Saed Tayyara, said Shannan Koucherik.
There was no argument among the crowd gathered at Craig Christian Church – consisting of roughly 50 family members, friends and residents who admired the late commissioner.
The Daughters had planned to present the man with his Americanism medal, a recognition of his patriotism and leadership, but that was no longer possible.
They gathered instead to celebrate his spirit.
Although Tayyara died the evening of Nov. 29, he did get a chance to receive the award the night before. Koucherik presented it to him then, and presented it again a second time Monday when she gave it to his daughter, Lisa Tayyara Coffman, who thanked the crowd as she wept.
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The medal recognizes what many in the crowd professed to know about the man already: that he was a tireless advocate for freedom; that he stood by and for his community; and that Tayyara would have done anything to make Moffat County better.
It is the Daughters’ highest honor given to naturalized citizens. It is not given lightly, Koucherik said, adding she was privileged to recognize a man she always will remember.
Some in the crowd also stood and spoke, sometimes about their admiration of Tayyara’s take on life and other times recounted stories of a man they likewise will not forget.
Al Shepherd, who co-owns Shepherd & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning, recalled when he first met Tayyara. He had just opened his first business in Hayden, and his boiler went out in the middle of winter.
“Here he is, he came from a country where he didn’t need heat and his boiler was out, and I had to explain to him what a boiler was,” Shepherd said between his and the audience’s laughs. “That started the first of many years knowing a man I truly cared for.”
Tom Maneotis told the crowd about “the mannequin deal,” which involved a store mannequin Tayyara found, some suggestive clothing and a couple of friends easy to play pranks on.
“Oh, he could play pranks,” Maneotis said, chuckling at the pulpit.
As he went on, getting more detailed, the audience started to join in. People called out names, husbands told stories to their wives and people shook their head with smiles on their faces.
Maneotis added, though, he wouldn’t be telling the whole story if he didn’t speak from the heart and discuss Tayyara’s human qualities, which will forever keep him in Maneotis’ memories.
“He was a loving husband. He was a loving father,” Maneotis said. “He loved people. He had honor, integrity and pride. Pride is what makes people want to be leaders and excel. He had all that.”
Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org