June 4, 2019

We will never forget: 30 years on

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Thirty years ago something happened that shook the world.  Tanks and trucks carrying soldiers rolled into the middle of Beijing during the wee hours, and opened fire on the peaceful crowd that had been staging a protest for days.  It's an event whose memories I will carry with me to my grave, and I've previously written about my thoughts several times, including 10 years ago as well as 5 years ago.

I've tried to attend the annual vigil at Victoria Park as much as I can.  As is often cited, Hong Kong is the only place in all of China where people are still allowed to open mark the event or even mention the Tiananmen Massacre.  It's more than a right, but rather a privilege that I treasure and don't take lightly.

Which is why I chose to take the early flight out of Kansai International Aiport so that we could be back in Hong Kong by early afternoon.  I cut short the time I could spend with MorgChop because I simply couldn't miss marking the 30th anniversary for the world.

We were lucky.  The weather forecast was for rain, and we were fully prepared for it, but the rains didn't come.  The skies were clear, and there was a very large crowd with us tonight.  But we arrived a little late this year compared to past years, so we couldn't get anywhere near the stage.  In fact, we were originally asked to move to the Great Lawn, but we found an opening for us to get to the fields.

As in past years, many songs were sung by the crowd.  We watched video footage from Zhang Xianling (張先玲), one of the Tiananmen Mothers (天安門母親), who recounted how she lost her son that day.  We also heard from Liane Lee (李蘭菊), who was a student in Hong Kong but traveled up to Beijing to join in the protests in 1989.  She gave a first-hand account of what transpired that day, and told the crowd that the massacre affected her for years because she forced herself to remember the faces and names of those who had died.

We were pretty tired from our trip so we decided not to stay longer.  But we made it here to mark the occasion.  We remember what happened.  I've kept the promise I made 30 years ago.  WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

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