TIME China

Watch: Hong Kong Holds Candlelight Vigil on Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Hong Kong is the only Chinese city or territory allowed to hold an event to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown

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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