Funeral services for one of the heroes in the MAX stabbing attack were held Monday morning in Milwaukie.
The life of 53-year-old Ricky Best was celebrated and his death mourned at a mass held at Christ the King Catholic Church.
Best's flag-draped coffin arrived at the church early Monday, a somber reminder of his service in the Army for 23 years, including stints in Afghanistan and Iraq.
His family followed wearing white headbands, a mourning tradition honoring his wife’s Vietnamese heritage. Best leaves behind a wife and four children ranging in age from 12 to 19.
Parishioners and friends of the family came to say goodbye and to support the Best family. The Archbishop was there, too, as was Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Best worked for the city of Portland for the last few years.
Investigators say that MAX attack suspect Jeremy Christian went on ahate-filled rant filled with racial and religious slurs
against two African-American teens, one of whom was Muslim.
Officers said Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche of Portland were killed by Christian and another man, 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, was injured when the three men tried to intervene.
Grateful members of the Muslim community attended Monday’s service and spoke of the gratitude they felt toward Best’s sacrifice and courage.
“I have three Muslim daughters, so I look at it as someone who saved the lives of those girls but also saved the lives of my daughters,” Seemab Hussaini with the Council of Islamic-American Relations said. “You realize there are people out there that people will do this and we're eternally grateful.”
The funeral service will be followed by a procession to Willamette National Cemetery starting at 1:15 p.m.
The public was invited to line the procession route to pay their respects to the best family and to thank him for his heroism on the MAX train.
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