Midnight, the 4th day of June, 1989, I was almost 6. For months, students from all over China gathered in major cities and protested against their government for basic human rights violation, government corruption, and the dictatorial ruling under one party policy, and that night marked the end of this remarkably brave action, with the bullets and blood authorized by the government and its party behind the curtain.
Being 6, I don't even have the faintest idea of what happened around. Very soon, my uncle disappeared from my life, family members told me he went far far away. Later on, police came to my grandpa's home, they came so frequently and regularly that every time I could identify them so quickly that I ran inside house and cried: “police are here, police are!”, my father told me that even some unknown people from certain authorities went to our home and asked my parents about my uncle. At that time, I didn't understand any of this, so I asked my parents, “my uncle is good people, police are good people, why does good people want to arrest good people?” Apparently, I got no answer, it took almost another 10 years till I found the answer myself.
A few years passed and I had no news from my uncle, I heard from my parents that he was in France or somewhere I could never imagine, and I started to feel the difficulty of picturing him in my mind. It never occurred to me how this affected my relatives, until the eve of the Spring festival came when I was 9 or 10. I was in the bathroom, prepared to wash my feet, all my family were gathered in my parents' house to celebrate the Chinese New Year. She came in and helped me to wash, I felt a bit embarrassed and tried to denied her help. She insisted and started to weep, I found she tried so hard to not make a sound of it. I was curious and deeply saddened, and finally I asked. Her answer ever since changed my life, “I miss you uncle so much”. This was the moment I realized that my uncle was missed by her mother as a beloved son, he's not just an uncle to me, but also the son of my grandparents, the brother of my mother. The second words from her saddened me more, “don't tell you mother that I cried”, she wiped her tears. “Why?” “You mother will feel sad if she knows.”
That is actually the first time I felt the impact of that summer in 1989. At that moment, I didn't even have a single clue of what happened when I was almost 6, I knew there was something happened that year, but no one in the family talked about this. Occasionally, a phone from France will cheered the whole family, especially my mother. However, the truth remain untold till the year of 2003 came.
In 2003, the real power of the Internet reached my small world, and for the first time, I found Wikipedia. From that moment on, my life, my whole opinions of the world around me were changed, I read every word of the entries related to the summer of that year, traced every link, every website about it. I read with tears, with shock, with anger. This was not a country I knew, this was a lie that I was living in for 20 years. From that moment on, I started my days of criticizing, satirizing, joking about this government, this party, this twisted society. I'm not trying to change the society, the whole nation, even the people I know, all I do is for those who fought 21 years ago, those who vanished 21 years ago, and those who are still suffering from the pain for the last 21 years.
This is just a short story of me and my family after 4th of June, 1989. Every time I visit my grandparents' graveyard, the thought that they never had a chance to see their son one last time in the last days of their lives, just kills my heart. I know many families in China suffer much more and deeper than we do, and their story may never be told. If this government and party want us to forget all about that summer, what I can assure them is that I will never forget, and one day, my son, my daughter will never forget, till those brave people's names are remembered and respected all over China, till the stories of that summer, of the last 21 years be told.
Those bullets and blood vanished 21 years ago, but they still haunt this country, unless this government, this “behated” party have the courage to face it, admit it, and start to change, history will return in similar ways, and more ordinary families will suffer what they don't deserve. Regrettably, I don't see it coming any sooner. And we are still facing a tough and even worse path towards the future.
Finally, as a personal petition, please help release Liu XiaoBo, he is the conscience of this nation.