Family, friends and fellow students gathered Monday night on Boston University's campus to honor of the memory of Lu Lingzi. Lu, who was a BU graduate student, was one of three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombings last Monday.
Lu was remembered as a smart student, a small-town girl who dreamed of becoming a financial analyst; a young woman who loved her piano, her puppy and her ice cream — especially green tea ice cream.
In between smiles, tears and music, hundreds of people — including Gov. Deval Patrick — came to show their respects to Lu.
Her roommate, Jing Li, remembered how she met Lu in an online chatroom for prospective BU students. They immediately clicked.
"We believed that we were long lost sisters and could not wait to begin our adventure in Boston," Jing said. "But I had no idea that this friendship could only last one year."
As her father Lu Jun approached the stage to give a eulogy for his one and only child, everyone in the room stood out of respect.
He spoke through an interpreter, calling his daughter the family's Shirley Temple.
"Alas, she is gone, how can our living move on? She's gone, but our memories of her are very much alive," he said. "An ancient Chinese saying says every child is actually a little Buddha that helps their parents mature and grow up."
He said he will always admire her desire for a better, more beautiful life.
For some folks at the memorial, the official charges against the suspect gave them a sense of closure to the horrific events last week.
"I was crying for a week because it really hurt us," said Anya Ge-uh, who had classes with Lu. "But I think we can move forward, we can move on from all this stuff."
Lu's roommate says that's what Lu would have wanted.
"There are a lot of things in our life that we don't understand why they happen, but we do understand that, Lingzi, you need us to be strong and brave and move forward," Jing said.
To help honor, remember and move forward, Boston University has created a scholarship fund in Lu's memory.
This program aired on April 23, 2013.