Hundreds of students and Boston residents joined a memorial service held at Boston University to remember Chinese graduate student Lu Lingzi, who was killed in deadly explosions that struck the city's annual marathon event last week.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick also attended Monday night’s service for the 23-year-old statistics student from Shenyang, in northeastern China's Liaoning province.
During the ceremony, held at the George Sherman Union, the young woman's father, cousin, and classmate gave speeches to about 500 guests, mostly Chinese students. They recounted a "joyful, kind-hearted and energetic" woman.
Lu has always been "the one to bring joy and laughter to our family members," her father said in his speech.
She worked hard in college to try to find all the information she could about studying overseas, the father said, "and was full of joy when she received her admission notice, believing that it was a gift from god".
“Looking back on the past 24 years, Lu Lingzi is the best part of our memories,” her father added.
Lu was one of three people killed in the bombings. A funeral was held on Monday morning for another victim, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.
Lu attended a primary school in Shenyang before being admitted to a highly selective experimental public facility, Northeast Yucai School, where she studied from seventh through 12th grade. About 100 of the 600 graduates annually go to study abroad in countries including Australia, Singapore, Japan, France, Britain and the United States, and the rest usually go to top universities, often in Beijing. Local media said Lu scored the second highest in her class to go to Beijing Institute of Technology.
Boston University's Chinese Students and Scholars Association presented Lu’s parents with a long banner full of blessings and messages from hundreds of students. Lu’s piano teacher also played a piece in her memory.
Lu's cousin, Meng Ziyong, delivered a speech remembering Lu as kind-hearted and always full of energy. "She has helped me a lot academically, always taught me to work hard as she did," Meng said. “Lingzi, we miss you so much. Hope you are well in heaven."
A classmate and research partner, who asked not to be named, wept when she talked about Lu. "She is positive and very lovely. We all like her very much and hate to lose her like this."
Zhou Danling, another Boston University student who was critically injured in the bombings, was recovering at Boston Medical Centre, said a statistics major student, who did not give a name.
"She is able to eat today, the first [among the critically hurt patients] to be able to do so," said the student, who paid Zhou a visit on Monday morning.