Yue Yue will not be forgotten

Late in 2011, there was a horrible incident in China that outraged the world. A two year old toddler was run over by a passing van in the street, who then backed up and ran her over a second time before driving off.

Video footage showed 18 people walkng past her prone but still alive body, deliberately stepping out of the way or ignoring her. It caused outrage around the world. How could not only the man be so heartless as to run over the girl a second time, but for 18 passers-by to just ignore a 2 year old hit and run victim in the street. Many people lashed out at China.

But this week, finally, Yue Yue, who’s name means “Little Joy” got some justice. The man who ran her over, Hu Jun, was sentenced to three and a half years prison for manslaughter. His sentence had been reduced since he was quick to come forward and admit guilt and offer to pay for medical costs while Yue Yue lay in a coma before her eventual death.

Her mother, Qu FeiFei when being told her baby was brain-dead and that she would have to consider turning off life support was quoted as saying:

“Don’t give up on mum, mum is not giving up, let mum have one more chance to love and spoil you.”

Nothing will bring “Little Joy” back into the world, but at least this time, her death was not meaningless. One of the reasons it took so long for someone to respond and help was that in China, there has been some history of good samaratins being sued by people who they have tried to assist. Since this incident caused such uproar around the world, Guangdong province has submitted a draft law to the People’s Committee proposing a law that protects good samaratins from possible litigation when trying to assist those in need.

How do I remember Yue Yue ? Last year, when Yue Yue died, and I read about it. I cried like everyone else. I was working at a PHP firm as a programmer. I named a core variable that stored XML data $yueyue. Some time later, one of the other coders came over to me and asked “Why is this variable called $yueyue ? What does yueyue mean ?”

I just showed him the news article and the video and he nodded and said “Ok. I understand. You can call that variable $yueyue. Why not add a comment ?” So I added a comment above the initialisation that read “Yue Yue was a Chinese toddler tragically killed in a hit and run in China this year. This variable is for her”.

I have no idea how long that variable might remain in use with that name, but whether it’s in a piece of code, or the law they hope to pass in Guangdong, or in the hearts of the people around the world who saw her die on YouTube, Yue Yue won’t be forgotten.

Almost every article on the internet about this story shows the horribly graphic footage of her being run over, twice, and ignored by all passers by. But that’s not how Yue Yue should be remembered. That’s not who Yue Yue was. She was a person. A bright, happy young child. Which is why you won’t find that video on this site. You find a beautiful photo instead. This, was Yue Yue. May her death not be meaningless.

Yue Yue. 2009-2011.

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