By Haiyun Jiang
BU News Service
Early Spring wind blew across Nickerson Field as Jinyan Zhao sat in the stands, recalling her niece Lingzi Lu, who was tragically killed in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Though two years have passed since the bombing, the loss remains a scar that will never heal for Lu’s family and friends. On Friday, members of Lu’s family were invited to a lacrosse game between Boston University and Holy Cross. Before the game, at a ceremony held in honor of Lu, a check for $5,024 was presented to the family by Daniel Solworth, Chief of Staff from the Division of Student Life at Boston University. All the money will go to the Lingzi Lu Scholarship, established by the trustees of Boston University.
Zhou remembered her niece as vibrant, pure and persistent. “When she spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with us in Rhode Island, she would laugh all the time while watching TV shows on the couch,” said Zhou. “She loved Boston, her friends and professors here. She just got started.”
On the morning of the 2013 bombings, 23-year-old Lu had just finished a big test at BU and decided to watch the Boston Marathon. Her friend and fellow BU student Danling Zhou accompanied her to Boylston Street that day. The two were walking by Forum Restaurant when the second bomb went off. Danling Zhou survived the attack; Lu did not.
“She was quiet, loved music and piano,” said a tearful Yan Xia, Lu’s former neighbor and classmate. Xia had been Lu’s friend since she first moved to Boston.
At a memorial service held in honor of Lu in 2013, her family described her passing as “grief, pain and sadness beyond words.”
“Her parents are far away in China now. Sometimes it helps. They feel Lingzi is still here, studying abroad,” said Zhao. “I talk with them and it’s still painful to bring it up. But most of the time they are tough and optimistic.”
Zhili Wu, a student from Northeastern University who was also a neighbor of Lu, met with Lu’s parents at last year’s anniversary. “I remember her father saying that Boston is beautiful, but he can’t appreciate it. It’s painful and devastating,” said Wu, recalling a conversation she had with Lu’s parents. “But after one year, he came back and gradually realized why Lingzi loved Boston.”
One year after Lu’s death, her family started the Lingzi Lu Foundation, which will help cover tuition for students who share Lu’s dream.
“Traditionally in China, we believe in letting the spirit rest. “And here we are trying to keep her spirit alive,” said Xuanmin Yu, Lu’s uncle and one of the foundation founders.
Ten people are running for Lingzi Lu Foundation this year, including a Chinese student Yujue Wang from Boston University, Yu said.
When the subject of the trial against accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is brought up, Zhao said that family and friends generally avoid talking about it with her parents. “They don’t want to know anything,” she said.
At least one relative of Lingzi Lu may testify during the second phase of the trial to speak about Lingzi as they knew her.
“We want as many people as possible to know the details of Lingzi’s life,” said Tom Price, attorney for the Lu family. “And to remember her as the individual that she was.”