“I told him, ‘You’re a beautiful man. I’m so sorry the world is so cruel.'”
A witness of last week’s train attack in Portland has revealed the moving message one of the victims shared before he died.
Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche was one of three brave men who intervened when they saw fellow train passenger Jeremy Joseph Christian shouting anti-Muslim slurs at a pair of teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.
Christian responded by attacking all three men with a knife. Meche, 23, as well as 53-year-old Ricky John Best, died from their wounds. The third man, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, survived the attack and was hospitalized. The men are being hailed as heroes, and crowdfunding campaigns to help the victims’ families and cover Fletcher’s medical expenses have raised more than $1 million.
Rachel Macy didn’t know Meche, but she stayed with him while they waited for help to arrive, as she told local news that she didn’t want him to be alone. “I took my shirt off and put it on him. We held it together, I just prayed, all I could do was pray,” she said in an interview with KOIN in Portland. “I told him, ‘You’re a beautiful man. I’m so sorry the world is so cruel.’ ”
Macy also shared Meche’s final words to her, which only serve as further evidence of his kindness.
“He said, ‘Tell them, I want everybody to know, I want everybody on the train to know, I love them,’ ” she recalled. “He was a beautiful man, that’s what I want people to know.”
Meche’s message of love influenced how Macy herself responded to the attack. “I wanted to wake up, and be mad and blame something or someone,” she said. “And I can’t. It’s not what [Meche] would have wanted.”
She met Meche’s mother and father at a vigil the next night, and gave them a heart-shaped purple rock she carried as a prayer rock. The parents reportedly thanked her for staying with their son.
Meche graduated from Portland’s Reed College in 2016 with a degree in economics. One of his professors described him as “a very caring person, smart, hardworking, and with such a bright future,” according to letter to the Reed community from the college’s president.
Ricky John Best, who also died from the attack, was an Army veteran and father of four. The surviving victim, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, is a college student who won a poetry contest in 2013 with a poem condemning Islamophobia.
“Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing, standing up for people they didn’t know against hatred,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement following the attack. “Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes.”
(Originally Published at aplus.com, click here for more)
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