Several hundred people gathered in Ashland’s Lithia Park yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon to celebrate the life of 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche.
Born and raised in Ashland, the young man recently died when he was stabbed while trying to protect two teenage girls from an anti-Muslin tirade on a train in Portland.
Gentle piano music played at the band shell next to Ashland Creek and a light rain fell as mourners gathered to comfort the family -- and each other – after the shocking loss of a well-loved hometown boy.
Under a banner proclaiming, “We Choose Love,” Namkai-Meche’s mother Asha Deliverance said her son’s college friends in Portland shared with her what they remembered most about him.
“Taliesin always wrapped his love around everybody, especially those who were having a tough time," she said. "And I just felt so proud that he would stand up for everyone, especially those who are having a tough time."
Friends and family told fond stories and shared memories of Namkai-Meche’s courage and big-heartedness. Many speakers urged people to dedicate themselves to healing the hate that had taken his life.