Hollywood Transit Center

Hollywood Transit Center Tribute

Honoring the lives that were lost and the lives that were touched by the assaults on MAX in May 2017.

The afternoon of May 26, 2017, three riders on board a MAX train approaching Hollywood Transit Center were assaulted after they stood up to a man who was harassing two young women based on their race and religion. Two of the intervening riders were killed and the third was left with life-threatening injuries.


The tragedy sparked an immediate and tremendous outpouring of love and support at the transit center. Thousands of people expressed their appreciation for the men who intervened and offered condolences to their families and friends. Words of healing and encouragement were left for the young women. Altogether, the messages, chalk art and bouquets of flowers created a moving and spontaneous memorial.

We Choose Love

The attack forever changed lives and deeply affected TriMet and our community. To honor the lives lost, the strength of those who stood up to hate and the emotional outpouring in the days after the attack, artist Sarah Farahat and her team created a temporary tribute mural entitled “We Choose Love.”


The mural transformed nearly 2,000 feet of wall space at the Hollywood Transit Center, weaving together color, text and images to invoke a transition from sunset to night. A poem by Brooklyn, New York-based duo Climbing PoeTree winds through the space, with each line written in a different language:

Excerpt from “Awakening”
Climbing PoeTree

We were born right now for a reason,
Sababta aad hadda u dhalatay ayaa jirta (Somali)

We can be whatever we give ourselves the power to be...
我们可以成为任何我们赋予自己力量的人 (Chinese)

Give what you most deeply desire to give
Da lo que más profundamente deseas dar (Spanish)

Every moment you are choosing to live or you are waiting
У каждого мгновения есть выбор - жить или ожидать (Russian)

Why would a flower hesitate to open?

Now is the only moment
Giây phút đó là đây (Vietnamese)

Raindrop let go, become the ocean
kʰanawi ixt snas-tʼik, ixt-təmtəm kʰapa saltsəqw ukuk (Chinuk)

Possibility is as wide as the space we create to hold it
الاحْتِمالاتُ واسعة سعة الفَضاءِ الَّذي نَخْلِقُهُ لِلْتَّمَسُّكِ بِها (Arabic)

Also depicted in the mural is the western peony, a native Northwest perennial traditionally used for healing grief, and Hamsa images symbolizing protection. The trains painted on the interior ramp walls include phrases from the spontaneous memorial that transformed the transit center in the days following the attacks.

Finally, the dark blue walls facing the MAX platform show the peony dropping its seeds, symbolizing the difficulty of standing for what you believe, and the phrase “We Choose Love” emblazoned in large, golden letters.

Future plans for Hollywood Transit Center

In April 2016, we began to look at ways to improve the Hollywood Transit Center.

In 2020, TriMet and BRIDGE Housing partnered to envision a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development at the Hollywood Transit Center.


Tribute Advisory Committee

Mohamed Alyajouri
Muslim Educational Trust

Meagan Atiyeh
Oregon Arts Commission

Randy Blazak
Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Eugenie Jolivett Fontana
Regional Arts and Culture Council

Sabina Haque

Victor Maldonado
Pacific Northwest College of Art Diversity and Inclusion

Valerie Otani, Chair
Hillsboro Public Art Program

April Slabosheski
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

Meeting Notes


Stay in touch

Enter your email address below to stay up-to-date as details about the tributes become available. For more information, please give us a call at 503-962-2150.