TIGARD Ore. -- People of all faiths and from all backgrounds gathered to honor and remember the two men killed on the MAX more than a week ago by a man spewing racist and anti-Muslim rants.
It was a touching moment outside the Muslim Educational Trust Community Center on Sunday night. Survivor Micah Fletcher met victim Taliesin Namkai-Meche's mother for the first time. They embraced in an emotional hug.
"I just wanted him to know that he's loved and he needed arms to break down in, to cry in, that understands love," said Asha Deliverance, Namkai-Meche's mother.
Namkai-Meche, Rick Best, and Fletcher were stabbed standing up for two girls. Police said a man was on the MAX, shouting what could be considered hate speech. Both Namkai-Meche and Rick Best died.
Many people in the community and at the memorial are calling the three men heroes.
"Thank you again family, thank you forever," said one speaker.
Both Namkai-Meche's family and Fletcher were presented with awards. Rick Best's family was also recognized.
"Let us extend hands. Let us build bridges of understanding," said Wajdi Said, the President of the Muslim Educational Trust.
For many, the night was about recognizing the courage it took to stand up and take action. Namkai-Meche's family described him as a flame, and hope his actions are an example to other people.
"Oh I saw what he did, I probably don't have to do that but I can do something that's kind an act of kindness to somebody else, tomorrow, today," said Ginny Anderson, Namkai-Meche's grandmother.
Namkai-Meche's mother said even when he went to school at Reed College, all his teachers said he always stood up for the underdog.
"We're proud of Taliesin and we're grateful to Taliesin," said his mother, Asha.
All the people attending the memorial were grateful too. They were also thankful for the three men who decided to stand up, when they didn't have to.
There are a number of GoFundMe accounts set up for the victims and their families.
The one set up by the Muslim Educational Trust is already at about $600,000. The initial goal was $60,000.
If donations from all the crowdfunding accounts are added up, the balance is well over a million dollars.
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