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Ricky Best, who died in a MAX stabbing, and Parkrose Coach Keanon Lowe are up for the Citizens Honor Award.

FILE PHOTOS - FROM LEFT: Ricky Best and Keanon Lowe

Two Oregon men are finalists for a prestigious award honoring their courage and bravery, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, announced.

Happy Valley resident Ricky Best was stabbed to death on a Portland MAX train while defending two teenage girls of color in May 2017 — with the killer, Jeremy Christian, convicted on all counts this month.

Parkrose High School Coach Keanon Lowe, now working in West Linn, risked his life to diffuse a potential school shooting last year. He rushed to embrace the student, who was planning on taking his own life.

Blumenauer says both are finalists for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Citizens Honor Award, which honors extraordinary heroism and service to the community.

"Mr. Lowe and Mr. Best are heroes. Their courage and sacrifice not only saved lives, but courageously showed us that hate will never win," said Rep. Blumenauer. "We must continue seeking opportunities for their selfless spirit to live on every day. Portland will continue to stand against hate, and I'm proud to represent a city with such strong values."

The Medal of Honor Society will present its Citizen Honor Award winners on March 12. An awards dinner will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 25.


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