A memorial event scheduled for Wednesday in Lithia Park gives the community a chance to celebrate the life of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche. Beyond that, it's an opportunity to celebrate the principals that "Tilly" stood for.

The memorial for Meche, an Ashland graduate who was fatally stabbed on a Portland MAX train June 2 while trying to help two teenage girls under verbal attack, will begin with a picnic from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Lithia Park Band Shell, followed by music and memorial offerings by friends and family. From 8 to 11 p.m., the memorial will move to Jackson Wellsprings.

In standing up in defense of the two young minority women who were being subjected to the hate speech, Meche lived the principals that his friends and family say he exhibited throughout his life. A woman who came to his aid after he was stabbed said that spark of human kindness was there to the very end. "Tell everyone on this train I love them," he told Rachel Macy as she comforted him after the attack.

A friend said Meche likely would have done the same thing even if he had known that standing up against hate would lead to his death.

We give great honor to soldiers who sacrifice themselves in defense of our ideals and liberties. Tilly Meche did no less than that in standing up against hate and in defense of basic decency. We should do no less in honoring him and his sacrifice.