PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Among the brave men in blue honored at the Citizens Crime Commission's 41st annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Luncheon was one young female civilian who stood out.
Christina Lu was awarded the Civilian Bravery Award, presented by 6abc's Rick Williams.
"Just to be in a stage where there are literal heroes working to keep our city safe. It's truly crazy to think about," said Central High School senior and Civilian Bravery Award recipient Christina Lu.
Lu was praised for her heroism, willingly putting herself in harm's way to protect three Asian students on a SEPTA train in November.
The attack was described as racially motivated.
"I wasn't thinking at all about the consequences. I wasn't thinking at all about who the people were because I had no idea which party was which. It was an instinct for me to stand up," said Lu. "I couldn't stand violence happening right in front of me."
Lu suffered the worst of the attack. After being slammed, stomped and beaten, she was hospitalized with injuries to her neck and ribs.
She's now all healed but is still learning to embrace the word "brave," which is a reminder with her award plaque.
"It doesn't have to be standing up in situations where you are putting yourself in danger, but it's to use your voice because without using your voice, nothing will change," said Lu.
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Lu plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall and will continue to help others by pursuing a career in the medical field.
Besides Lu, 16 members of law enforcement were honored.
Another Civilian Bravery Award was presented to trauma surgeon and gun violence advocate Amy Goldberg.