Soldiers hold pilot Yu Xu's ashes during a cremains laying ceremony at the memorial park for heroes in Chongzhou, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Nov. 20, 2016. Yu, who was the first Chinese woman to fly a J-10 fighter jet, died in an accident during a routine training operation last week. (Xinhua/Xue Yubin)
CHENGDU, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The ashes of pilot Yu Xu have been returned to her hometown of Chongzhou in the southwestern province of Sichuan and placed in a cemetery for revolutionary martyrs on Sunday.
Yu, who was among the first Chinese women to fly a J-10 fighter jet, died in an accident during a routine training operation on Nov. 12.
Her ashes were taken to Chongzhou sports center for a public commemoration on Friday. Over the past three days, 360,000 people from all over the country came to mourn her and place flowers outside the mourning hall.
On Sunday, her ashes were taken from the sports center to the cemetery. The route was flanked by crowds who came to see her off.
Female pilots also attended the funeral service. Zhang Bo, one of the pilots who enlisted in the air force at the same time as Yu, expressed her deep grief.
"She came a long way over the past 11 years to where she is today. It's not easy and it took lots of hard work. I feel very sorry for her," Zhang said.
"Flying is for the bravest, which we understood from the very first day we joined the air force," Zhang said.
"The martyr Yu has devoted her best years to the cause of building a strong military, and she will be remembered by the public," said Zhao Haoyu, secretary of the Chongzhou Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Born in 1986, Yu joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force in September 2005, and had flown four types of aircraft.