Photos by Jennifer DeMonte
Introduction by Melissa Sher
(Portland, Ore. — May 28, 2017) Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche were mourned throughout Portland this Memorial Day Weekend. They were remembered, not for what they did on the battlefield, but rather, for actions they took on a train helping strangers.
A man had been yelling vicious anti-Muslim and racist statements at two young women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, according to the Oregonian. Best and Namkai-Meche intervened and were fatally stabbed. A third Good Samaritan, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, remains in the hospital.
The victims were honored on Saturday throughout Portland. There was a moment of silence at the beginning of the Portland Thorns’ soccer game; there were tears and quiet hugs at parks and playgrounds; and at least two candlelight vigils were held. The largest of the vigils took place near the site of the attack. Organizers originally scheduled the event for 8:30 p.m. but moved it up two hours to better accommodate Muslims observing Ramadan who would break fast at sundown.
“We ask that our community come together in love and solidarity in the face of this horror to honor the memory of the victims and in support of those in our city and nation who feel terrorized and targeted,” said event organizers in a Facebook post.
Friends and family members of the victims were among those who attended the vigil.
Jennifer DeMonte is a freelance photojournalist and ceramic artist living in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their three children. She has a Master’s Degree in photojournalism, has founded a nonprofit to teach documentary photography to at-risk teens and has been shooting professionally for over twenty years.
Melissa Sher is the Founder and Editor of 500 Pens.
Copyright © 500 Pens. May 2017.