Tiananmen Square–25th Anniversary

“Distance tests the endurance of a horse; time reveals a man’s character.” –Chinese proverb

statue of liberty

Inspiration for “Goddess of Democracy”

Does time also reveal a nation’s character?

I remember watching the news coverage of the massacre with my dad. The images of rumbling tanks filling up the square scared me. Nevertheless, I think it is now, decades later, that I’ve begun to understand the horror of that time. My friend recently asked me: “Do you ever imagine what your life would have been like if your parents hadn’t immigrated over?” I shudder to think of it and count my blessings.

Here are some quick facts about the Tiananmen Square Massacre:

  • Occurred June 4, 1989
  • Peaceful protest led by students, asking for freedom and democracy
  • Nearly a million Chinese crowded into central Beijing
  • A “Goddess of Democracy,” a 30-foot statue resembling the Statue of Liberty was erected
  • Thousands of troops and tanks stormed the square in response
  • The iconic “Tank Man” has never been identified
  • Taboo topic in China; many young people are unaware of it

Where were you when the massacre happened?

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  1. Interesting facts. Thanks for posting them. Wow, many young people are unaware of it.

  2. Thank you, Jennifer, for reminding us of a very important history moment. It is often frightening and moving to consider what life would have been if such or such historic event hadn’t happened.
    On June 4, 1989 I was still living in France. I wasn’t married although I knew the man who would become my husband. I didn’t have children yet and no idea that I would one day move to the USA.
    I remember vividly watching the news, reading the newspapers, and hearing the conversations in Paris. People were very moved by the massacre but also by the strong desire for democracy that had pushed young Chinese people to go to Tiananmen Square.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Thanks for sharing, Evelyne. I’m so glad that even the French were interested in what was happening in China.

  3. In June of 1989, I was graduating from high school and had just spent a year studying our government as a senior. I remember seeing the tanks and the guns. It seemed so crazy to me that everyone didn’t enjoy the rights I did as an American. Like Sabra, I find it sobering to discover that, in this generation of the Internet, You Tube, and Google, that young Chinese do not know a lot about this momentous time in history – that’s a frightening testament to the power of the Chinese government.
    I’m glad your parents immigrated too!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      That must have been so interesting to contrast what you were studying with the events happening around you. (Yep, I’m glad to be here, Julia!)

  4. It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before ending I am reading
    this enormous piece of writing to improve my experience.

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