PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Keanon Lowe and Ricky Best have been named as finalists for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Citizen Honor Award.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer announced the finalists on Wednesday. Both Lowe and Best received the honor for “demonstrating extraordinary heroism while risking their lives for the well-being of those in their community.” The award has acknowledged outstanding citizens for over a decade.
Lowe put his life on the line in 2019 when he safely diffused a potential school shooting at Parkrose High School. A student had brought a handgun to school with the intention of harming himself, but Lowe calmed him by embracing him with a hug. The former University of Oregon wide receiver is a current faculty member at the school.
Best lost his life while trying to protect two teenage girls from Jeremy Christian on an infamous MAX train ride in 2017. Christian stabbed three men total, killing two including Best. Christian was convicted on Friday and awaits sentencing.
“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. “Recognizing them with the Citizens Honor Award nomination is the least that can be done. 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 Citizen Honor Honorees will be announced on March 12. Rep. Blumenauer will introduce the nominees at the awards dinner in Washington D.C. on March 25.
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