The grief is palpable in the aftermath of the death of 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, who was killed alongside 53-year-old Rick Best while defending two young women from an Islamophobia-fueled attack on a train in Portland, Oregon, last week. Micah Fletcher, 21, was also attacked for defending the women, and though he was injured, he survived. Among candle-lit vigils, memorials, and thoughtful words from the victims' loved ones, a collection of photos of a Portland hero's mother hugging mourners shows how love will always overcome fear.
During the vigil, hero Namkai-Meche was described as “a joyful and magical spirit," and photos of his mother, Asha Deliverance, are inspiring even those Americans who couldn't attend the vigil in person. In striking images from a vigil for the victims, Deliverance is seen warmly embracing other mourners, including a woman in a white headscarf who approached her.
Like the letter she penned to President Donald Trump on Memorial Day, the photos of Deliverance emphasize the importance of Americans uniting to comfort one another and defend marginalized people from bigotry — the way her son and Best did on that train. Per her letter:
Asha Deliverance, the mom of Portland hero Taliesin Meche, at a vigil for the victims. She has so much grace, it's remarkable. pic.twitter.com/7nsCpQitTk— Yashar Ali (@yashar) May 30, 2017
At the end of her letter, Deliverance once again called for Trump to condemn violence and implored him to honor her son's courage and sacrifice by using his influence and power to speak out against hate groups:
Trump's response to the attacks (criticized as "weak") was a statement sent from the official POTUS twitter account that read "The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are [with] them."
Regardless of the actions of the president, other Americans can certainly be inspired by Deliverance's words and actions and honor Namkai-Meche and Best's memory.