20 Years Ago: Tiananmen Square massacre

In 1989, all things seemed possible. The Berlin Wall would fall in November, but by the summer, change had already seemed inevitable as the Soviet Union began to collapse under its own weight. In the late spring, though, it appeared that China’s communist regime might go first — as a growing rally of democracy activists captured the attention and imagination of the world. Twenty years ago today, Beijing crushed the nonviolent rebellion against their authority.

Of all the tributes to the Tiananmen Square massacre, the one above captures it best. It uses “Requiem for a Dream,” an outstanding and entirely fitting piece of music for this remembrance. We had a dream that the world could finally throw off the shackles of tyranny and authoritarianism, and that a non-violent protest could succeed against heartless despots. In Eastern Europe, that dream was realized as the US broke the Soviets through Ronald Reagan’s economic and ideological warfare. In China, that dream was dashed under the tread of tanks and in a hail of bullets.

Today, please pray for the victims of the massacre and give thanks for their courage. One day, it will be rewarded, and they will be honored among their countrymen.