iChongqing Title

A father's choice: Recalling Mr. Wang Hongxu

By RUI HUICHONGQING|Sep 16,2021

This is a commentary by Reporter Zhou Wentao, Wu Jing, Qu Ting, and Zhou Wenchong from Xinhua.

He rescued two children who fell into the river, and his 3-year-old child lost his father forever. Wang Hongxu, 35, an elementary school teacher, interpreted teachers’ love with his life. His “last lesson” for the world is to make his choices.

‘Respect to the heroic teacher,’ a note left by an anonymous photo by Xinhua

On September 10, the eve of  Chinese Teacher’s Day, people came to the banks of the Yangtze River in the Dadukou District of Chongqing to presented a cluster of white chrysanthemums to Wang Hongxu with tears.

Mr. Wang Hongxu (L) and his colleague on Athletics Games for Primary and Middle School Students in Chongqing Dadukou District, the photo was taken in 2012, provided to iChongqing

Time moves back to June 1st this year.

On Children’s Day, Wang Hongxu and his wife Chen Luxi took their children to the riverside and played with friends. Colorful tents were set up on the beach, children were digging the sand, and adults were chatting.

Group photo with students at the track and field games for primary and middle school students in Chongqing Dadukou District, photo provided to iChongqing

At around 5:40 in the afternoon, there was a sudden call for help from the crowds. Wang Hongxu and his friend Xu Linsheng then rushed to the river. Wang Hongxu jumped into the river and quickly swam to a child who fell into the water. He lifted the unconscious child out of the water and gave it to Xu Linsheng. Then he turned around and tried his best to swim towards another child who fell in the heart of the river.

“The river runs rapidly, and the water is icy, and I am in a panic.” Xu Linsheng held the child to swim to the shore. Although he had been a lifeguard, the strong undercurrent made his body as heavy as lead. Xu Linsheng, who took off his clothes and shoes, swam towards Wang Hongxu again. He saw that Wang Hongxu did not use one arm to paddle like usual rescuers this time but plunged his head into the river, holding the children in the water and sneaking all the way. 

The river seemed calm, but it was turbulent. Wang Hongxu chose to sneak in to ensure that the child would not choke again, requiring more physical effort. Closer and closer, when he finally pushed the child to Xu Linsheng, the heavy wave pushed him back… 

The rushing river was still scouring and tearing them. Just when Xu Linsheng felt that he could not swim back, he held with one hand – it was a “human chain” held hand in hand by more than ten people. At this time, Wang Hongxu drifted farther. “Take me a hand…Take me a hand…” The sound of water was accompanied by the sound of the wind, and his voice seemed so weak. Two or three seconds later, a wave swallowed him.

The two children were rescued. Only then did people know that the hero who sacrificed to save the child did not know them. Wang Hongxu’s son, nicknamed Tuan Tuan, who is only three years old, didn’t know what happened. He just cried: “Dad, Dad, come back!” This teacher jumped without hesitation at the critical moment. The heroic feat is deeply moving, and it also brings the beauty and hope of life to the world. Looking back at Wang Hongxu’s life journey, you will find that his heroic spirit is not accidental but derived from the endless love as a father and teacher.

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