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May 29, 2017, 2:37 PM

For Portland Stabbing Victims, Love Prevails

For Portland Stabbing Victims, Love Prevails

Screenshot from a video showing messages left at the vigil for the victims

Two heroes were killed last Friday after standing up to a white supremacist who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs at two young girls on a train in Portland, Oregon, USA. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23 years old, and Ricky John Best, 53, refused to quietly allow the hate speech, and were fatally stabbed as they defended the girls.

The URI community praises their bravery and mourns the tragic loss of two admirable citizens and human beings. The timing of the attack was especially poignant; it targeted a young girl wearing a hijab on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. And today, Memorial Day, the United States remembers and honors those who died defending their country. Best was a U.S. veteran himself; as his City Commissioner told Willamette Week, “he served our country with honor and distinction. He stood up for two young women and others he didn't even know – all because he wanted to help.”

In an especially inspiring message, Meche's mother told CBS News that she had taught her son about the power of love. "Love is what it's about," she said at the vigil for the two heroes. "We taught him to love everyone and that's what we should be doing and that's what we all should be doing and that's why we are all here, so give it up for love." According to a woman on the train, Meche’s dying request was that everybody know he loved them.

The URI global community offers prayers and comfort for the victims’ families after this horrific attack. After this tragedy, which was rooted in religious intolerance spurred by hatred and fear of "the other," we redouble our efforts to bring peace through interfaith and intercultural understanding.

Posted By:

URI News Desk

 URI News Desk

North America


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