Celebrating Hometown Heroes

{Due to work obligations, I need to take a hiatus from my weekly Blog. I am retiring from my position of Elementary Principal, and I need the month of June to focus on ensuring my school is ready for my successor and the new school year.}

In the meantime, I would like to dedicate this space to three local heroes:

Rick Best

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche

Micah David-Cole Fletcher

At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2017, these three men were riding a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon. 

According to Portland police Sargent Pete Simpson, a 35-year-old self-proclaimed white nationalist yelled what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions.”

Witnesses on the train state his rants were directed toward two women. The eyewitnesses described the women as Muslim. One was wearing a hijab.

When the three men stepped up and tried to calm the aggressor, he stabbed them with a knife, killing two, and seriously wounding the third.

The men intervened, willing to give the ultimate sacrifice. They refused to sit idly by and watch hatred in action. They saw injustice and they acted.

What amazing bravery. What dedication to justice.

They could have looked the other way. They could have gotten off at the next stop. They could have run away. They might have justified that the situation did not involve them and they should stay out of it. But they didn’t. They acted. They did the right thing. And they were willing to sacrifice their very lives to stand up for the principles this country stands for.

Rick Best was 53, about my own age. He was a father and a husband. He was a 23-year army veteran. He died at the scene.

Taliesin Myrddinn Namkai-Meche was 23. He graduated from college just last year. His thesis adviser, Noelwah R. Netusil, stated Meche was “a very caring person, smart, hardworking, and with such a bright future.” He died at the hospital shortly after the attack.

Micah David-Cole Fletcher is 21. He survived the violence, but was hospitalized with serious, but thankfully non-life-threatening wounds, for three days before he was released. The knife missed his jugular by only one millimeter. He was on his way to his job at a pizza shop. He posted the following on his personal Facebook page Saturday evening:

“I am alive,

I spat in the eye of hate and lived.

This is what we must do for one another

We must live for one another

We must fight for one another

We must die in the name of freedom if we have to.

Luckily it’s not my turn today”

I believe in freedom of religion. I believe in equity. I believe diversity makes us stronger. But it is easy to write my Blog from the comfort and safety of my home.

Would I have stood up and done the right thing as did Best, Meche, and Fletcher? Even it meant giving my own life?

At what point do we decide hate is not something we are going to tolerate in our nation, in this nation of immigrants? And at what point do we decide to stop it, no matter what the cost?

What would you have done?

What will you do?

Would you like to help?

A GoFundMe page has been posted to provide financial support for families of the victims. Here is the link to the donation page:

https://www.gofundme.com/tri-met-heroes?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=tri-met-heroes

_______________________________

Thank you my loyal readers.

Have a great month, and I plan to be back in July!

 _________________________________

References:

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/portland-max-attack-what-we-know/444221342

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/28/us/portland-train-stabbing-victims/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/26/us/portland-train-stabbing/

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/gofundme-page-for-stabbing-victims-raises-more-than-100k-in-less-than-24-hours/443647785

 

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