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Father of DC student killed in Sri Lanka: ‘We should know who the world lost’

A mourner lights candles during a funeral of Easter Sunday suicide bomb blast victim at Methodist cemetery in Negombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

The father of a talented fifth grade student who attended D.C.’s Sidwell Friends School hopes to keep his son’s legacy alive.

Alex Arrow said his son, Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, was finishing up studies abroad in Sri Lanka when the bombs went off Easter Sunday.

Kieran and over 350 others were killed. More than 500 were injured.

Arrow said his 11-year-old son left a lasting impact on everyone he met.

“Every parent thinks that their son is the best,” he said. “But Kieran was articulate, insightful … he made everyone that he met want to be a better person because of what he wanted.”

Kieran had plans to become a neuroscientist and work on diseases like Alzheimer’s, Arrow said, and he had a bright future ahead. He had skipped the sixth grade and was excited to return to the U.S. to begin seventh grade at Sidwell Friends. In such a short time, Arrow said, his son had already accomplished so much.

“He was getting really good at math, and I was delighting in getting to teach him the higher parts of math,” he added.

The father described his son as “very driven,” one who would ask to stop playing board games so he could study another language.

“He was so determined to study his Mandarin that he would tell us that we had to stop doing Monopoly so that he could study his Mandarin, and he would ask us to help him with his flash cards,” Kieran’s father recalled.

Arrow’s mission now: ensure his son’s story isn’t forgotten. “The terrorists didn’t know who they were killing, but we should know who the world lost, what they took from the world — a brilliant mind who was going to be a neuroscientist,” he said.

ABC News and WTOP’s Jack Pointer contributed to this report.

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