Dying girl's wish filled in Beijing trip
An 8-year-old Jilin Province girl who is blind and suffers from brain cancer had her dying wish fulfilled
this week: a chance to experience the daily flag-raising ceremony in Tian'anmen Square.
Slumped in a wheelchair, her face brightened as the National Anthem was played and she raised a feeble
hand in the salute of a Young Pioneer.
Little did the girl know that the whole affair was an elaborate ruse involving more than 2,000 people
who wanted her to experience her lifelong dream.
The child, who was identified only by her given name Xinyue, lives in the northeastern city of Changchun,
about 1,000 kilometers from Beijing.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer in October and went blind from the disease. When doctors told her
parents the child didn't have long to live, they decided they needed to move fast.
Xinyue's favorite activity is hoisting the national flag at her school's playground. But she always dreamed
of seeing the flag go up in Beijing's landmark square during the daybreak ceremony performed by China's
Doctors warned her parents that she was too weak to make the long trek to Beijing, however. So mom and dad
did what they believed to be the next best thing.
At 10am on Wednesday, Xinyue's parents loaded their daughter into a van along with a medical team and a
tour guide and set off on the make-believe journey. The guide described the scenes along the highway, and
the girl repeated the lyrics of a popular song, singing " a little Beijing girl, hey, hey."
About three hours later, Xinyue, obviously unaware of the distance to the capital, was told they'd arrived
in Beijing and would take a transit bus to the square.
Instead they boarded a coach operated by a Changchun bus company on which some 30 students pretended to be
passengers and chatted in various dialects. A Beijing native played the part of conductor and called out
bus stop names in a Beijing accent.
The bus took Xinyue to the playground of a Changchun college, where a team of students marched to mimic
the sounds of a police parade.
The anthem rang out, the flag was raised, and thousands of volunteers talked and shouted to heighten the
Xinyue traveled back to Changchun the next day after spending a night in a "Beijing hotel" and eating
capital cuisine with her parents and friends.
When she arrived home, Xinyue - none the wiser about where she'd actually been - was all smiles.
From: Shanghai Daily, 2006-03-25
1. This story is not only about a girl's greatest wish, it is also about the question of honesty and the sensibilities of
an ill girl. Why is this?
2. Would you have fulfilled the girl's wish the way it was done?