A country mourns

Tiananmen Square flag

I went to the gym this afternoon. While I was working out I listened to my Ipod in my own world. All of a sudden I heard sirens, I looked around the gym and couldn’t see anyone. My immediate thought was the building was on fire and everyone had evacuated the building. I went outside to see all of the staff lined up with their heads bowed. Then I remembered the three minutes of silence(?) for the earthquake victims.

People just seemed to be standing around dazed on the streets. It was as though an earthquake or some other tragedy had struck Beijing. Back in the gym everyone crowded around televisions. Images of half-mast flags and people standing silently from all around China were broadcast.

Shots of Tiananmen Square had people crying, shouting and punching the air. It was hard to know what they were shouting.

It was hard to concentrate again on my workout, so I headed off to Tiananmen Square. By the time I got there, it was closed off. I have no idea why. Only police and army guys were walking around the square. Lots of people though were walking along the streets outside of the square taking pictures of the half-mast flag.

It was a strange day to be in Beijing. The games will go on but it will be impossible to say that they will be unaffected

Tiananmen Square flag

Posted by Mike 11 years ago

filed under: earthquake



Murray - May 19, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

Yes, China stopped for 3 minutes. I was teaching English at Ocean University in Qingdao. At 2.28pm we were all asked to stand still for those 3 minutes in silence. Sirens and alarms around the campus went off to help us keep track of the time. Taxi drivers sounded their horns all over the city in unison. It was a cacophony of sound and a sombre moment in China’s history. Very moving, actually.

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