Carry Their Legacy Forward

Speech at the Candlelight Vigil Hosted by Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

By: Jianli Yang – June 3, 2022

Tonight, once again, we gather to remember and honor our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the Tiananmen Square Massacre 33 years ago.

On this historic, heart-wrenching day, we mourn their sacrifices. But it is much more than sorrow that we feel. What this solemn day is about is to be thankful and to carry on the legacy of these fallen brothers and sisters.

Back in 1944, looking out across a field filled with rows of crosses marking the graves of men who, just days before, had been part of his Army, General Patton said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”

Yes, we are thankful such men and women ever lived. Their short but glorious lives leave us forever in debt. They bravely rose up and fought for something greater than themselves, so that their compatriots could someday live with freedom and dignity, the life they themselves would never enjoy.

They paid the ultimate cost for the ideal that they deemed was worth dying for. It is the ideal of which the Chinese communist dictators are most afraid. They try to destroy this ideal by killing the people who uphold it. However, as President Reagan so eloquently said of the CCP in the wake of the Tiananmen Square Massacre: “You cannot massacre an idea.” Yes, without a doubt, our fallen brothers and sisters will live eternally in our hearts, as will the ideal for which they fought and died.

They sacrificed everything for the noblest of causes, and it is up to each of us to carry their legacy forward in an effort to repay a debt that can never truly be repaid. As we enjoy living in this free land, it may be easy to be indifferent, but it is indifference that allows the lessons of history to be forgotten; the prolonged denial of the people’s voice, and the massive, inhumane slaughter of human lives. That is exactly what is happening in China and Russia today.

Now, for all time, let us keep the sacrifices that our brothers and sisters made in Tiananmen Square over three decades ago in our hearts, as we strive to honor them by being good and true, hopeful and strong, and by committing to building a brighter future for China and throughout the world.



中译稿: Hongyi Li

(在共产主义受难者纪念基金会烛光守夜活动上的演讲2022 年 6 月 3 日)

今晚,我们再次聚集在一起,缅怀和荣耀在 33 年前天安门广场大屠杀中牺牲的兄弟姐妹们。


1944 年,巴顿将军眺望着一片满是十字架的田野,这些十字架标志着几天前还是他军队中一部分人的坟墓,他说:“只是悼念死者是愚蠢和错误的。相反,我们应当为世界有这样的人来过而感谢上帝。”