Dozens of family and friends gathered in Prospect Park Wednesday to plant a tulip in honor of Christina Yuna Lee, the 35-year-old woman who was murdered at her Lower Manhattan home in February.
The ceremony was held under sunny skies on the shores of Lake Prospect Park, as families cruised by in paddleboats.
“She was an artist,” said Charles Yoon, president of the Greater New York Korean American Association, who addressed the crowd. “She used to come and enjoy the park and it’s a beautiful setting and with the planting of the tree, at least there is a look into the future and hope that the future will be better.”
Lee’s death was one of several violent killings of Asian New Yorkers earlier this year, amid a sharp rise in anti-Asian violence nationwide. According to the NYPD, anti-Asian hate crimes in New York were up 361% in 2021 from the previous year, with the group Stop AAPI Hate saying it had received 10,905 hate crimes against AAPI between the start of the pandemic on March 19. , 2020 and December 31, 2021.
Her younger sister, Angela Yujin Lee, told the crowd that “over $400,000” had been raised in Christina’s name, an amount that would go to a new non-profit organization, Christina Alliance.
“The Christina Alliance will continue to support the causes that were important to Christina and will aim to provide advocacy for underrepresented groups,” he said.
The organization’s website noted that grantees so far include Womankind, Planned Parenthood, Elizabeth Street Garden and Safewalks.
Lee was stabbed to death in her Chrystie Street apartment after arriving home in the early hours of February 13. One suspect, Assamad Nash, has been charged with murder, robbery and robbery for sexual purposes.
After a prayer and comments, the participants threw flowers on the ground surrounding the young tree, after which park employees erected a protective fence around the tree.
A sign indicated that the tree had been planted “in celebration” of Lee “by those he loved” and quoted a line of dialogue from Ingmar Bergman’s 1982 film Fanny and Alexander, “Perhaps we have no limits, perhaps we flow a few with each other, they flow through each other, limitlessly and magnificently.”