Tiananmen Twenty Years Later
There are few images as iconic as this, and none that serve as both a realistic and symbolic portrayal of the war China has waged against freedom and free thinkers.
And while this one was snapped on June 5, 1989, I felt the need to share it today. Because as Americans we should remember Tinananmen and feel thankful that we live in a country where something like this could never happen.
The massive student protest of 1989 was seen by the world – as was its brutal suppression by the People’s Liberation Army, sent into Beijing by nervous and angry Communist Party bosses.
From just before midnight on June 3, I spent five hours on the streets among those unarmed people being shot by their own army.
Although the political drama took place in Tiananmen Square, we roamed for miles that night and saw killings in the suburbs and back streets.
Scores of trucks thundered down Chang An Avenue towards Tiananmen Square, each with soldiers firing down every side street.
Bewildered citizens were killed as they wandered outside to investigate the noise. Others died as bullets ripped through the thin walls of their traditional hutong houses.
Students who confronted the army were faced with thousands of soldiers firing volley after volley.
It was a hellish scene – at the city’s Children’s Hospital, I saw the floor awash with blood.
I have to admit, this all happened well before I started paying attention to politics, but what do you remember about those fateful days in 1989?