The Burrow: In Dumbledore’s Honor

by Tait Lihme

Greetings one and all. In honor of the man we have congregated to remember, I shall keep my comments brief.

As I look out over the many faces before me, I cannot help but ruminate on one of Albus Dumbledore’s most distinguishing characteristics, one of his greatest strengths, one of his most common roadblocks: Albus Dumbledore believed in unity–unity of race, unity of purpose, and, most importantly, unity of spirit.

He recognized the important differences among us all while looking for the common ground. He celebrated the uniqueness of all people while encouraging them to use their individuality for the betterment of others. He reveled in the personal growth of each man and woman he knew, including himself–but most of all, he reveled in the personal growth of the pupils of Hogwarts.

Indeed, when we consider all that he has accomplished, all of the awards he has received, and all of the honors he has been given, it is very revealing to note where Albus Dumbledore chose to spend his time. It was not with the movers and the shakers, nor was it with the powerful and the mighty. He spent his time there in that castle behind you, patiently nurturing the individual gifts of his many students. I believe it was his greatest hope that through the common communion of this educational institution, the seeds of unity in which he so fervently believed would be sown.

Many have said that this unity is impossible. Many have said that it is ridiculous. Many have even hated that he said it at all. And yet, look around you – human, elf, merperson, centaur, and even giant; visitors from the East and from the West; the weakest and most innocent child sitting beside the strongest and most experienced adult. Perhaps in his death he has begun to accomplish what he was unable to achieve in life. After all, those of us present today have set aside our differences, our disagreements, and our arguments to come to this quiet place of learning, to say goodbye to a man who has touched each one of us in a unique way. It is ironic indeed that it is only when he has become separated from us that we finally become bonded with one another.

Albus Dumbledore believed that this unity and this unity alone has the power to finally overcome He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. So, as we leave this field of study and go back into what will surely become a field of war, let us not forget this solemn moment. Let us not forget that while we all have different agendas, different perspectives, different dreams and different fears, we must all join together in one purpose if we are to have any hope for survival.

It is with that in mind that I encourage each one of you to be wary, to be strong, and, if it prove necessary, to be ruthless. But let us never again be divided.

Farewell my friend.