10 years on: 'Saluting boy' from the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake

In May 2008, a wounded boy was pulled from the rubble of the massive Wenchuan earthquake by a group of PLA soldiers. The moment touched the hearts of the entire nation.

In May 2008, a wounded boy on a stretcher saluted the PLA soldiers who rescued him from debris in Beichuan, more than 10 hours after the massive Wenchuan earthquake. The touching moment was captured by a photographer, and the boy's gratitude moved a nation.

Ten years on, the life of the "saluting boy" has returned to normal and he is growing up happily, Chengdu Economic Daily reported.

Lang Zheng, the 3-year-old boy in the photo, suffered a broken left arm and had the tips of two fingers amputated. His parents also survived.

Lang is now 13 years old, and already 1.7 meters tall. He said his dream is to join the army so he can not only train his body, but also his moral character.

On March 31, Lang Zheng went to the tomb of Yang Weihua, the photographer who captured the infamous photo and became a good friend of Lang and his family after the quake.

Lang Zheng and Yang Weihua, who has since passed away.

Yang died of liver cancer in 2015. From then on, Lang Zheng goes to his tomb every year, together with his parents.

On national holidays, Lang would also send short messages to the soldiers and medical staff who helped him, telling them about his study and life in his greetings.

"Gratitude is the most important thing we who suffered from the earthquake have learnt," Lang said.

Lang Zheng and his father

The boy, who loves playing football, has developed a strong character since the earthquake, which helps him in not only his sport, but also his study. 

For example, if he falls behind in his study, he adjusts his thinking to catch up.

Lang Zheng has a lot of hobbies, including the Rubik's cube and reading books, especially celebrity biographies.

But his favorite hobby is sport, and he has a lot of gear at home. He often plays basketball with his father, Lang Hongdong, after school on Fridays.

Joining the army is still his dream, but Lang Zheng plans to continue with his studies for the time being.


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