Mother of Jun Lin prays for peace at public memorial
Published Saturday, July 21, 2012 9:41AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 21, 2012 6:53PM EDT
The parents of Jun Lin, a Chinese exchange student dismembered in a case that captured the world’s attention, took part in an emotional public memorial in Montreal Saturday.
Reporter Camille Ross told CTV News Channel the memorial was very solemn and there was an emotional address by Lin’s mother, Zhigui Du.
"He was taken so fast," Du said in Mandarin, which an interpreter translated into French.
"When a child dies, a parent's heart dies too."
Du struggled with tears throughout her address.
“She could barely stand up when she described what the last 64 days have been like without her son,” Ross said.
“She said she’s been so sad, grieving so much that she feels she’s just lost all of her strength.”
Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese national studying computer science at Concordia University in Montreal, was killed and dismembered in May. Luka Rocco Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection with Lin's death, including a count of first-degree murder.
Lin’s parents said Saturday that they plan to lay their son’s remains to rest next week. A funeral will be held for Lin on Thursday.
In her lengthy address, Du described her son as someone who was very loving, caring and respectful. She said her son was a peaceful man and that he loved Canada.
She couldn’t help but ask why he had been taken from her.
“You loved people and loved animals. Why did the devil have to come for you? I just don’t understand. You were so young, your whole future was ahead of you,” Du said.
She thanked Canadians for the support they’ve shown her family since her son was brutally murdered.
"Today, we pray for peace in Montreal," she said, thanking the local congregation at the Montreal Chinese Alliance Church for helping to organize the memorial.
Du also spoke of the evolution of her own faith, and said she had found some solace since getting baptized in Montreal last week.
Some of the mourners said they were very touched by the service and appreciated hearing from Lin’s family.
Ida Ripley came to pay her respects.
“People would like to put their arms around this family and tell them how very sorry we are that this has happened and that this is not what Canada is about,” she told CTV Montreal outside the church.
Du and her husband Daran Lin have been in Montreal for the past month and have expressed a desire to stay for the duration of Magnotta’s trial, which is set to begin with a preliminary hearing in March.
The Montreal community has pulled together to help them do that.
“Concordia University has raised $70,000 for the family, $24,000 of that coming from the Chinese student association alone, and that is to help with the costs associated with (the family) staying here for the extent of the trial,” Ross said.
Montreal resident Gerald Rudick was one of the people who made a donation.
“This is a terrible thing to happen. As a Canadian, as a Montrealer, I want to do my share to contribute to their welfare -- any way we can give (the family) a little comfort.”
Of the funds raised, $10,000 will go toward an award in Lin’s name to provide financial assistance to Chinese students.
Witha report from CTV Montreal’s Camille Ross and files from The Canadian Press