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Ashland Community Celebrates The Life Of Taliesin Namkai-Meche

Liam Moriarty - JPR News
A huge altar with flowers, crystals and photos of Taliesin Namkai-Meche was created by friends and family of the 23-year old who recently died in a knife attack on a Portland train.

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-Muslim 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.

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.