Monday, June 05, 2017

June 4 Vigil

I came back to Hong Kong yesterday and will fly out to Cambodia on Tuesday, just in time and long enough to attend this year’s Candlelight Vigil for the June 4 Massacre in 1989.  When my wife and I arrived in Causeway Bay 15 minutes before the Vigil started at 8 PM, there were already quite a lot of people crowding the approach to Victoria Park.  

Three of the six soccer fields were full when we arrived at the venue.  Some people were advocating the use of e-candle apps instead of burning actual candles for the sake of conservation.  Hence the sea of candles might not be as impressive as in last years. 

At the end of the gathering, around 9:45 PM, it was announced that there were 110,000 people in attendance, filling all the six soccer fields and half of the grass filed nearby.  I suspect the number is a bit inflated.  But it was quite obvious that there were a lot of people.  

A lot of the people were obviously old enough to have been around 28 years ago, and remember quite well what happened - that a lot of people were massacred illegally in or near Tiananmen Square.  We know that the concerted efforts by the establishment to play down the scale of the atrocity, that we do not really know what happened, etc. were just efforts to re-write history.  

But there were also a lot of young people, who have not gone through the experience first hand - in the sense of witnessing the overwhelming amount and depth of information from news reports, emails, text messages, and other communication from friends in China, detailed documentaries, many huge demonstrations before and after the massacre - and yet are moved by the event enough to come out to remember.  They give us hope that justice may yet prevail.  

A lot of people were lingering around at the end, perhaps trying to make better sense of what is happening?

I believe strongly that God is in charge and justice will prevail.  But we do not know when.  

I respect that some people may feel there are alternate or even better ways to remember the event, to promote liberty and democracy.  I believe, however, that it is still meaningful to remember with a candlelight vigil.  It is sad to see people attacking each other over whether they should attend the vigil or hot.  


YTSL said...

Thanks for taking considerable effort to ensure you'd be at last Sunday's vigil in Victoria Park.

Cyiu Chau said...

I think the word "justice" means different things to different individuals, so does the word "god". Perhaps would be nice if there exists one unambiguous universal standard. Needless to say I am pessimistic about the near future, but in long run I have confidence in "history repeats itself", whatever that means.

StephenC said...

Thanks. It feels like this is the least that we should do.