5th June, 1989 A.D.

Tianasquare
Sometimes one image serves to sum up an event in the world’s memory.  For the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, that image is probable the one of the “tank man” — a lone protester who was photographed on June 5th, 1989 when he briefly stood, unarmed, before a tank column and stopped it.

There is not agreement as to who the “tank man” was, and most reports suggest he was arrested by the secret police and executed within the next two weeks.

In those heady days, it seemed possible that within a few years communist dictatorship would be nothing more than a memory, but twenty years later the communist oligarchs in China have learned to accomodate freedom and enterprise enough to remain in power.  And the tank man’s dream remains unrealized.

4 Responses to 5th June, 1989 A.D.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    “And the tank man’s dream remains unrealized.”

    I suspect that in the long run the Chinese will remember him and his dream well after the leaders who murdered him and so many others in 1989 are all but forgotten.

  • Jay Anderson says:

    My 7-year-old son who wants to be a priest told me yesterday that he wants to be a missionary priest. I can’t remember his exact words, but it was something to the effect of wanting to preach about Jesus all around the world like Paul did, and then something about working against “those bad old communists”.

    Honestly, I don’t know WHERE he gets this stuff.
    ;-)

  • Donna V. says:

    Donald, I pray you’re right about that.

    I watched much of the Tiananmen Square coverage from my father’s hospital room. Dad had had a severe stroke. One day, I was sitting there next to my unconcious father, watching the “tank man” brave the might of the Communist tanks, and I saw my dad’s hand move a little. I looked at him. His eyes were open and he was looking at the television screen. “That’s wrong,” he said. It was the last thing I heard him say. (And very appropriate, if you knew my dad. He was a news hound and could not watch the news without giving us a passionate running commentary on every story.)

    Several days later, my sister told me he had told his then 9 month old grandson, “I love you.” Those were his last words.

    I can’t see footage of Tiananmen without thinking of my father, a crusty old WWII vet who had fought against tyranny and hated it with all his being.

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