HONG KONG - JUNE 04: People hold candles to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square events during a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park on June 4, 2014 in Hong Kong. Twenty-five years ago on June 4, 1989 Chinese military troops cracked down on a student let pro-democracy protest and in the clashes that followed scores were killed and injured. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Anthony Kwan—Getty Images
By Stephanie Burnett and Francesca Trianni
June 4, 2014

Clarification appended, June 5, 2014

A ceremony was held on Wednesday at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. Nearly 100,000 attended this year’s vigil, according to police, although organizers put the figure at 180,000. Candles were lit in remembrance of those who lost their lives a quarter of a century ago.

Ann Tung, 58, was one of the attendees. She remembers that day well because she was crying all the way to work.

“Everyone around me was as sad as I was,” Tung said. “All the TV stations and radios were focusing on Tiananmen Square. We stayed up for the whole night closely watching the development of the incident. So the incident did happen.”

Thousands of those holding candles in the park were young students who didn’t witness the historical event, but believed attending Wednesday’s rally was a way to advocate for more democracy in Hong Kong.

“As students we would like to uphold this freedom of speech — or even democracy — for it to have more development in Hong Kong,” said 18-year-old Ngai Suet-kwan.

In the video above, TIME’s Stephanie Burnett asked students and other vigil participants about why they think it’s important to remember the massacre.

An earlier version of this post only cited the police attendance figure.


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