Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 04-22-12 04:38
Memorial service held for slain students
By Wang Jun
April 20, 2012 - 9:19am http://www.chinadailyapac.com
University of Southern California president C. L. Max Nikias pays his respects in front of images of Chinese students Wu Ying and Qu Ming at a memorial service in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Th e students were killed last week in what seemed like a bungled carjacking.(Photo by Agencies)
Students at the University of Southern California wept with the parents of Wu Ying and Qu Ming when photographs of the two - showing them standing with friends in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, and making dumplings - appeared on the huge screen in the Shrine Auditorium.
The memorial service in Los Angeles for Wu and Qu, who were fatally shot one week ago, was held on Wednesday evening.
Ye Jing, a graduate student at USC and Wu's best friend, said she couldn't believe that tragedy had befallen the young woman who had "the same white skirt, pink wallet and blue coat" that she had.
"We just bought strawberries for dinner together a couple of days ago when we decided on weight control," Ye said.
The two girls also decided to take the same classes this semester. "Before our projects' due dates, we bought a lot of snacks and worked the whole night," she said. "And, after we turned in our homework, we would get relaxed and go to eat."
Wu was called "a seed planted in the library" by her classmates. She liked reading and sometimes would say, "How can one not understand history?" When friends asked Wu what they could bring her from China, her answer would always be "books".
Wu had bought a ticket to fly back to China on May 14. "She told me she would go to a wedding for the first time in her life," Ye recalled. "And she said she'd cook for her parents as she never did before."
Wu learned computer programming on her own and dreamed of becoming an "IT super woman" and having her own company. "Some classmates and I told her we'd work for her and depend on her for the rest of our lives," Ye said.
"I'll live strong and be happy, which is what you wanted us to do," Ye told her best friend during the memorial service for Wu and Qu.
Qu's best friend, Yang Biao, said they'd known each other for six years, from the same dorm in Beihang University, in Beijing.
Qu spent his childhood in the countryside and didn't know football and basketball until middle school, so he didn't play well. "When there was a game, Qu would choose to stay away and watch," Yang recalled. "He said he didn't want to make our team look bad. He didn't know that nobody really cared about winning. The most important thing is that we stayed and played together."
During their junior year of college, Qu and Yang started preparing for the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) test in order to study in the United States. "Those days, what we talked most about was the future."
Qu went to USC and Yang stayed at Beihang University for a master's degree after graduating from college. "He often told me what a good place USC was and persuaded me to take the GRE test again," Yang said.
"But the GRE test in China was full," Yang recalled. So Qu accompanied him to take the test in the Philippines. Yang was finally admitted by USC, and the two became roommates again.
"He always said it wasn't easy for our parents to make money. We should save whenever we could," Yang said. "We truly felt our living condition was good enough." However, Qu's parents cried out when they came to see the room that Qu lived in.
Yang remembered that Qu talked with his parents through the Internet every couple days. "He wanted to find a job, and he said he never bought something for his parents." Yang promised to take care of Qu's parents for him.
Like thousands of students from China, including Wu and Qu, C.L. Max Nikias, president of the university, and Yannis Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering, came to the US as foreign students three decades ago.
"We dreamed of making a difference" through the abundant opportunities that the United States provided, said Yortsos.
The university has decided to set up a memorial scholarship fund in Wu's and Qu's names, to sponsor two Chinese students to study at USC every year, according to Nikias.
Consul General of China in Los Angeles Qiu Shaofang said at the memorial service that the Consulate General, Los Angeles Police Department and USC have been working together closely since the tragedy. Qiu said "every life is precious" and urged the police to crack the case as soon as possible. No arrests have been made in the shooting case.
Wang Weinan, president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association of USC, said Chinese students were united after the shooting in an unprecedented way. "All wanted to help," he said. "We'd like to comfort and take care of the parents of Wu and Qu."