Northwest Asian Weekly
As investigations begin and Boston mourns the events of the bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15 and what followed, many Chinese will also grieve and ask questions.
They are, after all, possibly the second most affected group of people by the bombing, having community members swept in the conflict. The questions of the Chinese community will take just as long to answer as those of the others who were affected. Below are the stories of the Chinese connection to the Boston Bombing.
Danny, the entrepreneur
Before April 18, Danny was just a Chinese-born entrepreneur who had attended Northeastern University to study engineering and was beginning to dive into life at a technology startup. The night of the 18th, however, everything changed as Danny, who wishes to only be known by his English-language nickname, revealed in an interview with the Boston Globe. As he pulled over his leased black Mercedes SUV to answer a text, a man who had been following him in an old sedan knocked on his window. That man was Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also known as the Boston Police Department’s suspect No. 1. Danny had been carjacked.
“I don’t want to die,” Danny told the Boston Globe. “I have a lot of dreams that haven’t come true yet.”
Those dreams included growing his new-born startup and starting a relationship with a girl he fancied who lived in New York.
What followed was a game of life or death. Danny spent the next 90 minutes absorbing every detail — the brother’s conversations about girls, the car, CDs, the streets they were passing — looking for any chance to escape. He heard them speaking in a foreign language about Manhattan and was held hostage as they transferred supplies from their old car to his. The brothers asked him if his car could make it to New York.
During the hour-and-a-half ordeal, Danny tried anything that would keep himself safe.
Though he originally came to the U.S. in 2009 and graduated with a Master’s in 2012, he told the brothers that he had not been in America for even a year and that he was still a student.
“Oh, that’s why your English is not very good,” one of the brothers said. “OK, you’re Chinese … I’m a Muslim.”
“Chinese are very friendly to Muslim!” Danny replied. “We are so friendly to Muslims.”
Danny’s chance came when the brothers stopped to get gas. As the younger brother went inside the gas station to pay in cash and the younger brother put down his gun to play with the car’s navigation system, Danny unlatched his seat belt and opened the door, running for his life toward a gas station across the street. The brothers fled, not bothering to fire a single shot.
Hours later, the car’s satellite navigation system and Danny’s iPhone would help the police track down the SUV. The brothers would start a shoot-out that would end with the older brother dead and the younger brother wounded.
And Danny? He would take his second chance at life to call that girl from New York.
Students who had adopted a city
Lu Lingzi was a 23-year-old statistics graduate at Boston University on April 15. She had aced her qualifying exams two days earlier and was watching the race with two friends when the bombs detonated.
Friends and family vowed not to forget her at her memorial on April 22.
“You need us to be strong and brave,” Jing Li, Lu’s roommate, said at the ceremony. “We will keep running to finish the race for you and we will try to realize your unfinished dream.”
Hundreds of people packed a hall at Boston University to say goodbye to Lu. She was one of three people killed in the bombings.
Jing told the crowd how when she met Lu in April 2012 they discovered they were both from the northern part of China, both piano lovers, and both without boyfriends.
“We believed we were long-lost sisters and could not wait to begin our adventure in Boston,” she said. “I was so grateful that I had such a lovely sister in my life, but I had no idea that this friendship would only last one year.”
Her father, Lu Jun, thanked everyone for helping the family over the recent dark days before offering a eulogy “to comfort the heavenly soul of my beloved daughter.”
“She was the family’s Shirley Temple, if you will, the little elf and a little jolly girl, bringing everyone in the family ceaseless laughter,” said Lu Jun, who spoke in his native tongue and was followed by an English interpreter.
“She’s gone but our memories of her are very much alive,” her father said. “An ancient Chinese saying says every child is actually a little Buddha that helps their parents mature and grow up.”
Eric Kolaczyk, director of the school’s program in statistics, said Lu was an excellent student who passed her qualifying exams with “flying colors” just before her death. He said that though she will never achieve her goal of becoming a financial analyst, a scholarship set up in her name by Boston University will help others meet their goals.
“Lingzi’s potential will instead be fulfilled by many others,” he said. (end)
To donate to the Lu Lingzi scholarship fund, visit www.bu.edu/alumni-forms/forms/lu-lingzi-fund. Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
Northwest Asian Weekly staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.