Hundreds of people have packed a hall at Boston University to say goodbye to a Chinese graduate student who was killed by the marathon blasts two days after doing well in her qualifying exams.
Lu Lingzi was passionate about the piano, a daughter who always made her father laugh and a standout statistics student.
Friends and family vowed not to forget the light in their lives that was extinguished too soon.
"You need us to be strong and brave," Jing Li said of her room-mate, who was killed as she watched the marathon a week ago. "We will keep running to finish the race for you and we will try to realise your unfinished dream."
Ms Lu, 23, was one of three people killed in last Monday's bombings. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick was among at the memorial service to listen to an hour of music and stories about her.
Ms Jing told the crowd how, when she met Ms Lu in April last year, they discovered they were both from the northern part of China, both piano lovers and both without boyfriends. "We believed we were long-lost sisters and could not wait to begin our adventure in Boston," she said. "I was so grateful that I had such a lovely sister in my life, but I had no idea that this friendship would only last one year."
Speakers recalled a bubbly young woman who loved dogs and blueberry pancakes and who was also a driven student.
Her father, Lu Jun, thanked everyone for helping the family over recent days before offering a eulogy "to comfort the heavenly soul of my beloved daughter".
"She was the family's Shirley Temple, if you will, the little elf and a little jolly girl, bringing everyone in the family ceaseless laughter," said Lu Jun, who spoke in his native tongue and was followed by an English interpreter. "She's gone but our memories of her are very much alive," her father said. "An ancient Chinese saying says every child is actually a little Buddha that helps their parents mature and grow up."
Family members accepted gifts from students. They turned and bowed to the crowd at the end of the service.