TIGARD, Ore. -- The man whose words gripped the nation when he offered Donald Trump a civics lesson at the Democratic Convention told a large crowd in Tigard Sunday night that the greatness of America comes from the ideals of equality and human dignity spelled out in the Constitution.
Khizr Khan was greeted with a rock star's welcome before his speech to a diverse crowd of 750 people at the Muslim Educational Trust.
Khan told KGW he found the strength to address a national audience at the convention from immigrant children who fear deportation after listening to Donald Trump.
“They would ask us, 'Is this true? Are we going to be thrown out of this country?'” Khan said.
He said he and his family received an outpouring of support after the convention speech, but were surprised to then be verbally attacked by Trump.
“We were not expecting it, for somehow we maintained our faith in human decency, that somehow you don't have to make a comment,” Khan said.
The Clinton campaign has produced a powerful ad about the controversy that features Khan.
The diverse crowd included many Muslim students, who said Khan has been an inspiration to them.
“This is someone who did something amazing, and he’s part of our community. It shows we are here. It's empowering for us,” said 15-year-old Sofia Al-Bawani.
Khan spoke of his son, 27-year-old Army Captain Humayun Khan, whom he said sacrificed his life to save his unit by walking 10 steps toward two suicide bombers and forcing them to detonate early. He says that act was inspired by American values, and affirmed his decision to emigrate to the U.S.
“He continues to teach us, we walk under his grace, under his light, with his firm determination in life to have in your heart care for others. So that is what made him take those 10 steps forward.”