"I told him, 'You're a beautiful man. I'm so sorry the world is so cruel.’”
Following the hateful attack of three men on a Portland train, one woman who sought to comfort a victim dying from his wounds has shared his eternally optimistic and kind final words.
When a 35-year-old white supremacist, Jeremy Joseph Christian, began a slur-filled tirade against two female passengers, one of whom was wearing a hijab, three brave men—Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher—peacefully intervened to de-escalate the situation.
Upon their intervention, Christian turned violent, attacking all three with a knife. Best, 53, and Meche, 23, would die on the train from their injuries. Fletcher, 21, is hospitalized in serious condition with wounds to his neck but is expected to live.
In an interview with a local news network, the woman who comforted and held a dying Meche has shared his final words with the world. Speaking to Portland’s KOIN, Rachel Macy recounts the tragic aftermath aboard the train. "I just didn't want him to be alone. I took my shirt off and put it on him. We held it together, I just prayed, all I could do was pray,” she recalled.
Meche and Macy were no more than strangers riding the same train until that moment.
“I told him, ‘You're a beautiful man. I'm so sorry the world is so cruel,’” she said.
According to Macy’s account, Meche chose not to speak of panic, fear, or anger, but rather love. Tending to him, Macy took in Meche’s dying words and dying wish. Speaking to KOIN, she relayed Meche’s last thoughts and utterances to his murderer, the other victims, the passengers, and the rest of the world.
"He said, 'Tell them, I want everybody to know, I want everybody on the train to know, I love them.’ He was a beautiful man, that's what I want people to know."
Yesterday, Macy attended a vigil held in honor of the three victims, at which she met Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance. Macy gifted her a painted purple rock she happened to be carrying in her pocket while on the train during the tragedy.
Meche’s final words have affected Macy’s outlook on the events that day. She realizes that if Meche, who paid the ultimate price for his conviction, could mine positivity from this event, so too could she. "I wanted to wake up and be mad and blame something or someone," Macy said to KOIN. "And I can't. It's not what he would have wanted."
His words illuminate the courage required in one’s final moments to speak with love in the face of hate. Those words are also indicative of the virtue that compelled three heroes —Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher—to stand in harm’s way for the safety and comfort of strangers in the name of what’s right.