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Funerals begin for victims of Boston marathon bombing

Source: Reuters - Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:51 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds detail from Lingzi Lu service at Boston University, 9/11 flag handover ceremony)

By Ross Kerber and Scott Malone

BOSTON, April 22 (Reuters) - A day of remembrance in Massachusetts reached around the world.

Hundreds of mourners crowded outside a suburban Boston church on Monday for the first of a series of funerals for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. It was followed by an evening university service for another young life cut short, this time a student from China.

The morning funeral was for Krystle Campbell, 29, a restaurant manager, and the evening's for graduate student Lingzi Lu, whose death resonated in China.

The April 15 attack at the marathon's finish line killed three people and injured more than 200.

No public funeral has yet been scheduled for the bombing's youngest victim, 8-year-old Martin Richard.

The suspected bombers were also believed to have fatally shot a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday night before a gun battle with police and day-long manhunt that left most of the Boston area locked down.

The ceremonies came on a day of transition for the region after the bombings, marked both by the start of federal court proceedings and a moment of silence in mid-afternoon.

Near the blast zone, FBI officials lowered an American flag that had flown near the site of the bombing since April 15, and law enforcement officers carefully folded it and presented it to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

It was part of the process of investigators to turn the crime scene back over to the city and set the stage for the eventual reopening of Boylston Street, a busy shopping and commercial route closed for more than a week.

Some in the crowd outside St. Joseph's Church in Medford said they had driven as far as 100 miles (160 km) to attend the funeral of Campbell, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and interim U.S. Senator William "Mo" Cowan also were there.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley spoke, according to an event program. The funeral was closed to the media.

The hearse carrying Campbell's red-tinted casket was escorted by about 20 police motorcycles. An honor guard of uniformed law enforcement officers stood in front of the church as pallbearers carried the casket in.

'TRAVESTY'

Chuck Walsh, a retired custodian from Medford High School, came from Ossipee, New Hampshire, for the funeral of Campbell, whom he remembered calling him "Mr. Chuck" in her school days.

"It was travesty what happened," Walsh said.

Also there was Renee Arsenault, a 28-year-old hairdresser who went to middle school with Campbell.

"I am so happy this many people showed up in her honor," Arsenault said.

After the funeral, Patrick and Menino led a moment of silence at the State House at 2:50 p.m. (1850 GMT), to mark one week since the moment of the first bombing. The governors of nearby states including Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine also observed the moment of silence.

In the evening, Boston University held a poignant memorial service for graduate student Lu, with speakers including her father, friends and the school's president, Robert Brown, who recalled she liked blueberry pancakes and the violinst Itzhak Perlman.

Lu had been at the marathon's nearby finish line with friends to celebrate handing in a research project, Brown said.

The event drew both Chinese media representatives and Zhong Ruiming, an official from China's consulate in New York. "Today we are gathered here with a heavy heart," he said.

He said the bombing "once again brought home the importance, to all of us, the importance of peace, security and social harmony."

He said Lu was her family's only child. Her father Jun Lu recalled his daughter's energy and outgoing drive. "She was the family's Shirley Temple," Lu said, according to a translation of his remarks.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will visit Boston on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for Sean Collier, a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the bombers also are alleged to have killed, a White House official said.

Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was in custody at a Boston hospital on Monday after being apprehended on Friday night. He was badly injured in a gun battle with police that led to the death of his older brother Tamerlan, 26.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged on Monday by federal officials with crimes including the use of a weapon of mass destruction. (Reporting by Ross Kerber and Scott Malone; Editing by Andrew Hay, Bill Trott and Vicki Allen)

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