PORTLAND, Ore. -- On Saturday, a dedication ceremony celebrated a new mural at the scene of the attack. The mural, painted in rich hues with text sweeping in waves up the walls of the Hollywood Transit Center, was commemorated as members of the community gathered to pay tribute.
The mural honors the victims of the attack, as well as the makeshift memorials left by mourners at the transit center in the days following the stabbing.
The mural was designed by artist Sarah Farahat. It is called “We Choose Love.”
On May 26, 2017, Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Micah Fletcher were stabbed on a MAX train that was stopped at the Hollywood Transit Center when they stepped in to intervene as the attacker, Jeremy Christian, spewed hate speech at two young black teenagers on the train.
Best and Namkai-Meche were killed and Fletcher was wounded but survived. The Portland community, in shock and mourning, created a makeshift memorial to honor the victims.
Now, a more permanent tribute stands at the transit center.
The mural covers the formerly nondescript walls at the transit station. Among the rainbow of colors, words wind in waves up the walls with quotes from the victims and messages of support that were left in the spontaneous memorial that appeared following the attack.
A memorial plaque will also be placed at the transit center, but that work won't be finished for a year or two, according to the plaque artist John Laursen.
"There’s the immediate shock and horror but we don’t know what it’s social significance is yet," Laursen said. "The mural is more abstract and it’s not a problem for that to be there, but something that tries to tell the story about what happened it’s too soon to do that. There’s no historical perspective when you try to do something within a year."
An interfaith service will also be held at a Muslim center in Tigard. The Muslim Educational Trust Center raised more than $600,000 for the victims of the attack.
The service begins at 6:30 p.m. at the center's Al-Madinah Hall at 10330 SW Scholls Ferry Road. Fletcher, the mother of Namkai-Meche and several others will speak. An art exhibit honoring Muslim women in the metro community will also be featured at the event.
This week, TriMet also discussed safety concerns in light of the attack.
A report released Wednesday showed crime slightly increased in 2017, even as ridership decreased. A survey showed TriMet users feel less safe now than a year ago. TriMet Executive Director of Safety and Security Harry Saporta attributed the sentiment to the MAX attack.