Twenty Years Ago

TSBPCCome gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Tiananmen Square on June 4, 2009, on the twentieth anniversary of the (call it what you will) events of June 4, 1989.

Security was high (mainly checking for journalists – if you were merely a tourist, there was not really a problem), and there were a ton of badge-wearing volunteers carrying umbrellas (which were meant to be opened in passive resistance to block journalists from their camera crews).

There were crews of folks in color coordinated t-shirts who were in different zones of the Square.

We were there for about an hour or so, and while the crowds were a little thinner than usual, the place was still teeming with tourists from both China and from elsewhere. As typically happens, a family wanted to pose with us.

There were no banners, no attempts at any monkey business that we could see. Tourists and families from all over, and while no one was talking about it, there was a shared experience among the adults about the day, and about how much of a difference 20 years can make.

As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.