The morning after police in Portland, Oregon, arrested 14 demonstrators at dueling political protests, about 800 worshippers turned out in a unified show of support for a man whose heroic act transcended division.
Ricky Best was laid to rest in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland on 5th June after a funeral Mass at a packed Christ the King Church in the suburb of Milwaukie. On hand were Christians, Muslims, Jews, peace activists and members of a motorcycle club that backs President Donald Trump.
“Many of us consider him a hero. Many of us in the church consider him a martyr,” said Mgr Richard Paperini, parish priest of Christ the King.
Best, a 53-year-old city of Portland employee, was one of three men who stepped forward to defend two teens on a Portland commuter train on 26th May. The girls, one in a Muslim headscarf and the other black, were the target of an anti-Muslim and racist verbal attack from 35-year-old Jeremy Christian.
When Best – along with 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and 21-year-old Micah Fletcher – spoke up, Christian pulled a knife and slashed at the men. Best and Namkai-Meche died and Fletcher was hospitalised. Police apprehended Christian, who has been arraigned on charges of aggravated murder.
Picture: Mgr Richard Paperini comforts Myhanh Best, wife of Ricky Best, who was killed on a Portland, Ore., commuter train on 26th May while defending two girls from an anti-Muslim racist attack. The ceremony was held on 5th June at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, following a funeral Mass for Ricky Best at Christ the King Church in Milwaukie, Ore. (CNS photo/Ed Langlois, Catholic Sentinel).