By Haipei Shue
I thought a lot last night about what I should say today at this funeral. And I certainly could have a lot to say to condemn racism, hate and violence. However, the more I thought about Ms Feng’s life, the more I felt our lives are all intimately connected. I felt that we are all her family member and her best friend, and I am deeply grateful that through her death she has brought us together here today and made us think hard about what life is meant for as Chinese American. Here I would like to share a poem with you.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (丧钟为谁而鸣）
by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
That is the poem. On behalf of United Chinese Americans or UCA, our members, chapters and partner organizations across the country, I want to thank the Chinese Mutual Help Society in Atlanta, a sister group with UCA, and the Atlanta Chinese and Asian American community. I especially want to thank Guangyong Ying and Charles Li for having done so much to take care of a fellow Chinese or a stranger. And Thank you Byron for the beautiful opening remarks, and Xiaoyu’s personal story. What a spirit. What an embodiment of compassion and humanity. What an amazing Chinese American community.
For whom the bell tolls? The poem asks. It tolls for thee. And I would hasten to add that it tolls for all in the Chinese American community, and ultimately it tolls for all humanity. We all could be Ms Feng. And she could be part of us, a member of our own family. Let’s remember and honor her life. Let’s build an America without violence, without hate, without racism, but with only love and peace for all.