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Lives not lost: As long as we remember

“Never forget,” they always say. Never forget.

If you can, name the four people killed in last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the manhunt that followed. Take a moment. Think back. Who were they? What were their names? What were their stories?

It is not easy. We always forget. The days of grieving pass. Memories fade into the past. We live; we forget.

Krystle Campbell of Arlington, Mass., watched the marathon from Copley Square every year. She was standing on Boylston Street when one of the bombs exploded near her. She was a few weeks shy of her 30th birthday.

Campbell had spent nearly two years caring for her grandmother while working 70-80-hour weeks as a restaurant and catering manager, The Boston Globe reported.

Lingzi Lu, 23, was a Boston University graduate student from China. The Globe reported that she had traveled to New Hampshire on a campus Christian fellowship trip and was friendly and well-liked. Her professors called her a promising scholar. She was an economist one class shy of a graduate degree in statistics.

Martin Richard, 8, was a boy from Dorchester who could quote Martin Luther King Jr. Though only eight years old, he already had marched in an anti-violence parade while carrying a sign that read “No more hurting people — Peace,” The Globe reported. He might be pleased to know that if you google “Martin,” he is the second hit that comes up, right behind Martin Luther King Jr.

Sean Collier, 27, was an MIT police officer from Somerville, Mass., who had always wanted to be an officer. “He wanted to be there to help people in these times of need and crisis,” his brother told the New Hampshire Sunday News. As a campus police officer, Collier would have to shoo homeless people off of campus. To make sure they got the help they needed, he asked to join the board of a local homeless shelter. He was that kind of guy. He was shot five times in his patrol car not long before the bombing suspects carjacked a Mercedes, with one of them telling its owner, “I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.”

In a rampage of hatred and violence, four giving, caring young people died. Each of them left us with a beautiful example of a good, meaningful life. Those stories, those lives lived with purpose and generosity, can become the real legacy of the Boston Marathon bombings. They can, as long as we don’t forget them.

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