It has been 25 years since students stood on the Square. Joined by citizens from all walks of life, they sought greater freedom and justice, a more humane country, a brighter future.
They came for spring.
It has been 25 years since troops and tanks were sent to crush the protests, arrest demonstrators, and strangle the movement for democracy.
The goddess came tumbling down.
It has been 25 years, and no public accounting has happened in China. Historical memory continues to be suppressed.
But one day, truth will win out.
It has been 25 years, but we will not forget what happened in Tiananmen Square: the searing reports and brave stories that ignited the hearts of so many and created some of the most indelible images of the 20th century.
We still stand inspired.
Today, we mourn and shed tears at the enormity of it all: the innocent lives lost, the possibility of change so stirring and vibrant in the air of May, that dissolved on that June day.
It has been 25 years, but we remember. The world remembers.
One day, China will remember.
When that day comes, we will celebrate the idealism that brought the students to the Square, the moral conviction that made them stay. We will honor the profound courage, the tireless commitment, the utter perseverance by all those who have worked for freedom since the dark shadows descended. We will marvel at the human spirit, at how democratic dreams stay alive, from year to year, person to person, generation to generation.
We take to paper, penning columns, reclaiming hope. We build memorials, we sing songs. We author ballads, we scribble notes.
It has been 25 years, but the flames still flicker and refuse to die.
We light our candles. We hold the torch aloft.