In Memory

WARNING: Some of these images are extremely graphic.

Words will come, perhaps later in the day. But for a moment, at least, let’s pause and remember those who died on this day twenty years ago. Soldiers and students, workers and police officers: for a moment today — before we move on to the shouting and the theorizing, the discussions of memory and the lamentations about the ambivalence that comes with time — let us simply remember them.

Most photos via this site or this one.

0 thoughts on “In Memory”

  1. Should include photo credits by photo if possible.

    Thanks for this heartfelt post. In the deluge of coverage and news, its nice to have a moment of contemplative silence.

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  2. Again, that’s why I come to this blog often. Nowhere else among expat blogs can you find another piece that’s simply devoted to the lives lost, including both the “angelic” protestors and the “demonic” soldiers. Some of the most famous expat blogs are being bitter and vindictive on this issue just for the bitterness and vindictiveness with no trace of basic humanity left.

    Let’s think for a moment of the lives lost.

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  3. [The majority of this comment has been moved here. This particular post is not the place for political discussions or accusations.]

    Lastly, I want to pay my respect to those who died on that day.

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  4. Yesterday being the anniversary, during my Chinese class, I decided to go out on a limb and asked my teacher if she knew why today was an important day. When she told me no, she doesn’t know, and that one of her colleagues told her something happened without giving details, I expressed surprised, even though I wasn’t actually surprised. I then decided that I had come that far and so it would be cowardly of me to pull any punches or turn back then and told her the whole story. My Chinese not being fluent, it took me a few minutes to spit out the whole story, but I told her about the protests in Shanghai and Beijing and made a point of contrasting the result of the protests in Shanghai and the result in Beijing. When I said that the Chinese Red Cross says about 3000 people were killed, she seemed shocked and went on to say in a quiet and subdued tone, “Maybe it’s fake…” After all, I’m a foreigner who reads about this stuff in English, and once it’s in English, the Chinese are immediately suspicious.

    It was difficult for me to express what I was thinking at that point because I became angry at her saying this, and looking back, I think it would’ve been easy to say, had I been calm. The moment, I feel, passed without me fully expressing what I had wanted to. But I wanted to tell her that to say it’s fake is to dishonor the memory of those who died, that they were students, just like her and I, and that regardless of whether they were right or wrong, their ability to stand up for what they believed in is something that demands homage.

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  5. No, it isn’t.

    20 years ago, we didn’t have the Internet. The public had no way to force investigations into cases such as the “duomaomao” incident, or exert pressure on Deng Yujiao’s prosecutors, or expose the horrendous “black kilns,” or launch renrou sousuo that had local officials fired.

    20 years ago, the Chinese media didn’t cover that many domestic injustices. And now they do with a passion.

    Hu’s grip on freedom of speech is indeed tighter than Jiang’s, but the progress of the society towards freedom of speech as a whole is undeniable.

    That’s because the protests in that year really helped. Without those, Deng wouldn’t have been so determined to develop the economy at all costs. So it’s worth it to remember the protests and the people (not the rioters among them who burned cars and police officers) who took part in it.

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  6. I see there is a very dangerous trend among people who are now shifting the attack on the commies to ordinary Chinese folks. In all the western newspapers, one reads words and phrases such as apathetic, mindless, consumed with money-making but no souls, pigs in a cage, slaves, you name it. My God, what did the Chinese people ever do in their past lives to deserve both a murderous commie government and judgmental foreigners?

    I’ve posted twice on this blog so my stance is pretty much clear, but I absolutely abhor hectoring someone who simply doesn’t agree with you. She has the right not to act or think the way you want her to.

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  7. Wooddoo,
    I’m going to assume that was directed toward me since you used the pronoun “she.” However, I must say that I was not in the business of hectoring someone who doesn’t agree with me. In fact, it wasn’t that she disagreed with me because to disagree presupposes thought. I told her a situation and her first reaction was to do the classic thing of shutting me out and saying it was fake rather than saying anything else. She could have said, “where did you get your information?” or “how do you know the information is accurate?” but instead, because I’m just some dumb foreigner, it must be fake. And, this was also not about ideology, but rather about respect. I’m a Jew. Does that mean I shouldn’t be angry when someone says the holocaust was a hoax because I’m just hectoring someone who doesn’t agree with me? Now, I am, of course, not Chinese so maybe I don’t have as much a right to be angry. But I believe the point speaks for itself.

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  8. wooddoo,

    You can bash CCP in anyway you like, I dont mind and I dont care.

    I just like you to see your argument WITH FACTS (like examples in other countries) that China would been better with Western democracy. To me, as I see all the poor people in democratic countries are hopelessly living in poverty, only top 5 to 10 % benefits from democratic system, I simply dont want to see a government in China is a government of the riches, by the riches and for the riches.

    It is easy to say that state-controled media has no credibility, but if not, who controled the media ? Anwser : the riches. Iraq war and the rescure plans obviously proved that riches controled the media in democratic countries.

    It is also easy to say that how government has so much power over people, but think again : if government doesnt have the power over a person who makes $10,000 a year, how on earth would government limit the power and influence of riches ?

    A country that is controled by riches is forever a puppet of West, and controled by West … in the name of freedom and democracy.

    Of course, if you hate CCP, I dont mind, say whatever you want. but I wont stand with you until you can convince me China will be better without CCP under the current situation.

    I am also sure most Chinese agree with me ( in case you dont know, Stalin was voted by Russian people as third most popular in their history). We wont fight for freedom for the sake of freedom while there is nothing in return. Simple as that.

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  9. Wahaha, two things:

    1) You can’t say “riches”. Riches is a noun that refers to wealth, not wealthy people.

    2) As fond as you are of saying “a government of the riches, by the riches and for the riches”, I hope you know that that’s really a gross misunderstanding of what the US is.

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  10. C.Custer,

    Actually, I love USA. First, compared to other west countries, China was least exploited by US 100 years ago; 2nd, WWII; 3rd, the economic development in China would not be possible without USA.

    But the government in US is a government for riches, though much better than the government in India. People in West didnt feel that cuz those countries were rich and had fat pockets, so government could afford giving away money. Now without money, you see who the government helped first. (when I talked about rescue plans, I was talking about all the rescue plans in US and Europe.)

    THE GOVERNMENT BORROWED THE MONEY FROM PEOPLE, THE RICH PEOPLE BENEFIT MOST FROM THE BORROWED MONEY BUT PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT, and the media was full of “explanations” by those “experts” from big banks and financial institutions (what else would you expect them to say ?)

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