Thousands of friends, classmates, and strangers, many of them wearing white flowers, gathered on Gangtie Road in Xingtai, Hebei province at 9 am on Wednesday to bid farewell to Ren Wei, a 16-year-old who drowned while trying to save a man who fell through ice on February 16. Even sanitation workers held banners that read, “RIP Ren Wei,” and “Ren Wei, we’ll always cherish your memory.”
That fateful afternoon, a cyclist was coming across the frozen river when the ice broke. Ren and his friend, Li Lin, both saw this, and rushed over to help. Both of them also fell into the frigid water. Of the three, only Li was rescued and survived.
After the incident, a city council awarded Ren’s family 10,000 yuan. On Monday the 18th, the Communist Youth League posthumously honored Ren by giving him the designation of a “Xingtai City Good Samaritan Youth.” Representatives of the city government also sent 10,000 yuan and condolences on behalf of city hall.