Man offers to sculpt permanent TriMet heroes memorial

Sculptor offers to create permanent memorial

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland sculptor has offered to create a permanent memorial honoring the victims of Friday’s knife attack on board a MAX train at the Hollywood Transit Center.

Richard Moore III said he wanted the victims' loved ones to have a place where they could see the people they lost, through his work.

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“I thought, ‘I wonder if I could do a little something to maybe help out,’” said Moore, recalling the first time he saw the growing memorial of temporary chalk messages, flowers and candles.

Moore said he wanted to create three life-size bronze statues of the larger-than-life heroes. Two of them were killed during the attack— Rick Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23.

Witnesses said the men were defending two women against Jeremy Christian, who was unleashing a hate-filled rant toward them. A third victim who also defended the women, 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, survived and was released from the hospital on Monday.

Christian was arrested after the attack and was facing multiple charges, including aggravated murder.
        
“Anyone who takes a knife to the throat and lives to tell about it is a pretty brave guy,” Moore said of Fletcher.

Moore has honored heroes with his work, before. He created a bronze sculpture of "Mick," the Portland Police dog killed in the line of duty in 2014. This month, the city dedicated the statue during a ceremony at the Portland Police Bureau's Canine Unit office. 

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Moore estimated that a memorial for the three men would take at least six months of his spare time to create, and cost about $30,000 just for the materials. If the project is approved, Moore said he hopes financial donations would cover the cost. He was less concerned about spending his time.

“Two of them aren’t going to be able to see their families, and their families aren't going to get to see them,” said Moore. “So me, needing to spend a little time, that's nothing.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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