We Should Remember Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, & Officer Sean Collier — Not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
A Boston jury returned guilty verdicts on all 30 counts against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Wednesday, bringing to an end at least one aspect of his long legal odyssey. While his ultimate fate isn't yet certain (he could face the death penalty, depending on the outcome of the sentencing phase next week), his guilt under the eyes of the law is now crystal clear. Which makes it a perfect time to look back at those people he killed. To remember Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's victims, rather than their killer.
Three people, two women and a young boy, died as a result of the pressure-cooker bombs that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon back in 2013. A fourth person, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police officer, was also slain by the pair in an ambush shooting. In all, the memories of the four people killed — to say nothing of the people grievously injured in the incident — have played a big role in how we've thought about the incident, and the subsequent trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Let's take a second to look back on the lives of these four people: Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard, and Officer Sean Collier.
A former student of the University of Massachusetts, Campbell was attending the marathon with friends in 2013 when she was mortally injured in one of the explosions. By all accounts, she was a caring and well-loved person — she worked as the assistant manager at a Boston-area steakhouse, according to the Los Angeles Times— and Campbell's been the subject of an immense outpouring of support and memorialization.
Case in point: her former college has now established a scholarship in her name. The first two recipients of the Krystle Campbell Scholarship Fund were named Monday: juniors Mikki Hall and Miriam Asangong, as detailed by WBUR. There's also a new park in her hometown of Medford, Massachusetts which will bear her name, the Krystle Campbell Peace Garden.
A 23-year-old graduate student attending college at Boston University, Lingzi was the sole foreign victim of the marathon bombing — she was a native of the Chinese industrial city of Shenyang, and was studying in America with an eye towards a career in finance. Her fellow classmates described her varyingly as "bubbly," "sweet," "nice," and an "outstanding student," according to The Washington Post.
And, as detailed by The New York Times, her death sent reverberations throughout her native China as well. Over 10,000 messages flooded into her Weibo account (China's version of Twitter, essentially) after news of her death broke, offering condolences for a promising life cut horribly short.
The youngest victim of the bombing, Martin Richard stands out as a truly heartbreaking case — slain at just eight years old, he was an athletic child, a Little Leaguer according to the International Business Times. He and his family were standing right near to the second of the two bombs when it went off, killing him and badly injuring his then-6-year-old sister Jane, a scene which his father Bill described in emotional detail during testimony in early March.
Variously seen in photos attending a Boston Bruins hockey game, or holding a strikingly poignant sign as pictured above, Richard's smiling face proved to be one of the most enduring images to result from the tragedy, and he won't soon be forgotten — back on June 9, 2013, hundreds reportedly attended a memorial in honor of what would've been his ninth birthday.
The MIT officer who lost his life to the brothers while they were on-the-run, the 27-year-old Collier has received a well-deserved hero's remembrance. On April 24, 2013, just weeks after the marathon bombing, thousands of people turned out for his memorial service at the college's Briggs Field, including Vice President Joe Biden, and in April 2014 MIT announced that a permanent memorial to Collier would be constructed.
And, as detailed by MassLive's Shira Schoenberg, Collier's family at least has some solace in seeing justice carried out. In a statement released following the verdict Wednesday, they described him as a "caring, fun, loyal, and protective brother and son," and said Collier himself would be proud of how the heinous incident united so many people.
Finally, we want to say how much we care for the victims and survivors of this senseless tragedy and their families. The strength and bond that everyone has shown during these last two years proves that if these terrorists thought that they would somehow strike fear in the hearts of people, they monumentally failed. We know Sean would be very proud of that.