Mother of slain man speaks after MAX heroes named 2017 'Newsmakers of the Year'

A witness reported that after Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche was stabbed on a MAX train in Portland, he said, "tell everyone on the train that I love them." (Genevieve Grippo/KTVL)

Three men were recognized as The Oregonian's 2017 "Newsmakers of the Year."

The recognition comes after a horrific attack on a Portland MAX train left two men dead and one severely injured.

23- year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, along with 53-year-old Rick Best and 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, had come to the aid of two young women who were being racially harassed on the train.

In return, the attacker stabbed all three men-- killing Taliesin and Best and severely injuring Fletcher.

Taliesin's mother says she's not surprised her son, who grew up in Ashland, got involved.

"Taliesin definitely would have been the one to step forward," said Asha Deliverance, Taliesin's mother. "There was a great fracture in the world created by hatred and bigotry that needed to be sealed with love and compassion."

On the last day of 2017, The Oregonian announced that Taliesin and the other MAX heroes had been voted 'Newsmakers of the Year."

It's a poll created by the paper where people decide on the most defining character of Oregon news over the past 12 months.

While Asha says it's one of many recognitions Taliesin received for his heroic act, it shows how many people were inspired because of him and the other bystanders who took action.

"I feel really grateful. I'm grateful that people care," she said. "I'm grateful that my son and Ricky Best and Micah's experience actually made a difference."

When talking about the impact the MAX heroes had on the world, there's one message Asha can't leave out.

"Another important fact to be recognized is no matter what happens, that we can choose love. Taliesin in his last words chose love."

Those last words: "Tell everyone on this train I love them."

The max heroes were chosen from a pool of 27 people. Their names garnered almost 40 percent of the votes.

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