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October 29, 2009

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Throngs mourn 3 heroes of river rescue

A GRAND memorial service was held yesterday in central China's Hubei Province to honor three college students who died rescuing two children from the Yangtze River on October 24.

Thousands holding chrysanthemum flowers went to the Jingzhou Memorial House to see off the teenagers, all 19-year-olds from Yangtze University in Jingzhou City.

The trio were Chen Jishi, He Dongxu and Fang Zhao.

State Councilor Liu Yandong, Hubei's Party chief Luo Qingquan and Governor Li Hongzhong sent wreaths to the ceremony.

"The three heroes gave life to others and risked death themselves," said Zhang Zhongjia, Communist Party secretary of the Yangtze University.

"They are the pride of their parents, elites of the nation and models of the time," Zhang said.

People touched by their selfless act had donated more than 500,000 yuan (US$73,206) to their relatives, as of yesterday, Zhang said.

On October 24, more than 10 students from the Yangtze University formed a ladder with one student holding another's arms to rescue the two boys in the river.

One of the students lost his grip and all of them were in danger.

Several members of a winter swimming team nearby came to help. The three students were swept away in the torrent, but others were saved.

Millions of Internet users made online comments on major news portals to show their grief.

"I am also a college student. I feel sorrow for you," said "Liu Zhuoya," from Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.

However, some questioned the sacrifice.

"Sacrifice three and rescue two, is that worthwhile?" asked "Tiaozhantianya" on the forum of


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