Three people were killed, more than 250 people were injured and a city was left reeling as twin bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon last week.
Not only was it a tragic event for Boston and America, it reached all the way across the world to China. One of the young people killed was a woman named Lingzi Lu. She was a graduate student at Boston University and had gone to watch a friend run in the marathon.
Just days after the bombings, ABC News correspondent Gloria Riviera was one of the few – if not the only – American journalists to travel to Lu’s hometown in northeast China and speak with her family.
Lu was born and grew up in Shenyang. Her family lives there still and their daughter embodied China’s middle-class aspirations. She was their only child under China’s one-child policy.
“When she was born, it was my first time being an uncle,” said Lu Xiang. “The first time that she called me uncle, my heart melted.”
He said everything that Lingzi Lu achieved, she did on her own. In China, wealthy parents spend thousands of dollars getting their kids into schools in the United States. Lu – on her own merit – got into a prominent high school in her hometown that handpicks students to groom for excellence. It was a big step for her whole family. But going to graduate school in Boston was even bigger.
“Our child is gone,” said the uncle, Lu Xiang. “She was about to graduate and her new life was about to start. Our child was hurt, but we’re not the only people that got hurt. I hope that these kinds of things won’t happen again between people of different races and countries. Different religions should just communicate with peace, not violence. To take revenge on people will never work.”
He said Lingzi Lu will be remembered as a brave, independent young woman whose big dreams were just within reach.
On Monday, the one-week anniversary of the attack, hundreds of people attended a memorial service at Boston University for Lingzi Lu.
“As a little girl, Lingzi demonstrated her intelligence, kindness, and attractiveness; she was the family’s Shirley Temple, if you will, the little elf and the little jolly girl, bringing everybody in the family ceaseless laughter, lightheartedness and fun,” said her father Lu Jun in a eulogy at the service. “She set her life and career goals early on, determined to go abroad to see the world and become an independent and well-educated woman. She knew what she needed and never wavered in pursuing them.”