THE SMALLEST MEMORIAL
In the woods of Anren Township in Sayi County, there is a memorial for a 15-year-old girl who died in the quake.
The pink room barely measures 10 square meters, but contains a wealth of information about the girl, Hu Huishan. She was born on October 11, 1992 and died on May 12, 2008. She was cremated three days after her death. She loved literature and hoped to be a writer one day.
Following the quake, Hu's mother Liu Li sat by the remnants of the Juyuan Middle School, where the girl had been studying when the quake hit. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Liu Jiakun, an architect in Chengdu, was touched and decided to build the girl a memorial. When he told Liu Li, Liu knelt down in gratitude.
"This memorial was built for all the ordinary lives," he said.
The memorial, made of brick and cement, is in the shape of a disaster relief tent. Pink was Hu's favorite color and "it was color of heaven," said Liu Jiakun.
The memorial also holds belongings the girl acquired during her short life, including photos, a school bag, a notebook, a comb, hairpins, some baby teeth, an umbilical cord and her birth certificate.
"Those things are proof that she had lived in this world," Liu Jiakun said.
Liu Li gave birth to another girl on Sept. 27, 2009. She named the girl Hu Hui'en.
"'Hui' means her elder sister, and 'En' in Chinese means kindness," Liu Li said.