Falun Gong’s Candle Light Vigil in Washington DC on July 20 – Solemn Scene Moves People
[PureInsight.org] On July 14, 2016, it was a hot summer day in the capital city of the USA. Around a thousand Falun Gong practitioners from nearby areas gathered around the mall to commemorate a special day for Falun Gong practitioners. Seventeen years ago on July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist regime led by then party leader Jiang Zemin started to crack down on Falun Gong in China. Falun Gong practitioners dubbed the incident as “720”. Ever since that “720” incident, every year around July 20, Falun Gong practitioners gather to remember that day.
When night approached, Falun Gong practitioners in DC began assembling before the Lincoln Memorial to conduct a candle vigil for all those fellow practitioners who had been persecuted to death by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China.
Beautiful and calming music played to tell the 24-year journey that Falun Gong practitioners had gone through. Falun Gong was first introduced to the public in 1992 by Master Li Hongzhi. Practitioners primarily focused on personal cultivation then, and they also worked hard to promote Dafa. After the CCP began its crackdown on Falun Gong, practitioners resisted the crackdown fiercely; they went to the famous Tiananmen Square in the capital city of Beijing, China to raise their voices against the persecution and clarify the truth to the public so that people would understand what Falun Gong was and why the CCP chose to suppress Falun Gong.
Four large Chinese characters that stood for “Fa rectifying heaven and earth” were formed by thousands of candles on the ground right in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The scene appeared extremely solemn and awe-inspiring, especially when contrasted against the ancient Greek shrine styled building in the back.
Ms. Ge Ming, the coordinator for this vigil event, said, “On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist dictatorship regime started a nationwide brutal persecution campaign against Falun Gong and its millions of practitioners. The regime used its own controlled media as well police forces, special agents, jails, forced labor camps, and even mental hospitals to carry out one of the most vicious attacks against Falun Gong. This is the most brutal attack against cultivators who hold on to firm faiths in Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners, on the other hand, have been standing firm in the face of this crackdown. They have been clarifying the truth of Falun Gong to the public ever since and follow the principles of ‘Zhen, Shan, Ren’ throughout this whole period of time. People did not know what Falun Gong was at the very beginning. They only read the distorted and biased information on Falun Gong from the Chinese Communist regime’s smearing propaganda. Nowadays, many people have come to realize that Falun Gong is a peaceful meditation practice, and its practitioners are being severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime. Many western newspapers have printed stories of live organ harvesting practices that are carried out in China by the Chinese Communist regime on Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to give up their faith. Such a change of view on Falun Gong is the result of many Falun Gong practitioners’ truth clarification efforts. These practitioners have been telling the real story of Falun Gong day and night to the whole world. The great virtues thus established by such practitioners leave high moral standards for all of humanity. Ever since the year 2000, Falun Gong practitioners have come to Washington DC around July 20 to commemorate those fellow practitioners who lost their lives in China. The candlelight vigil is one of those commemorating events.”
At the scene of the vigil, two Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Yi and Ms. Zhao ran into each other unexpectedly. The two knew each other 15 years ago inside the infamous Ma San Jia prison in the province of Liaoning in northeastern China. Ms. Zhao recognized Ms. Yi first from Ms. Yi’s voice.
“Yi used to be a slender, thin, and beautiful woman. I am really surprised to see how much she has changed over the years. It was almost impossible for me to recognize her. I can only imagine how much physical and mental torture Yi must have undergone through these years,” Ms. Zhao said.
Ms. Yi said, “I still clearly remember the night that Zhao was being tortured in the most vicious way. She was violently beaten up on the restroom floor in an attempt to force her to give up her cultivation. The next morning when I saw Zhao, I could not believe my own eyes. How could a person’s head become swollen to such a terrible size? Her eyes were like those of panda’s, and her whole body was swollen. No one was allowed to help Zhao. There was just one towel that Zhao was allowed to use, and she had to use the same towel to clean and wrap the wounds on her thighs from the torture.” Ms. Yi continued, “Only a few people like Ms. Zhao and I eventually escaped the prison alive. Most practitioners died in there.” Ms. Yi said that she had just started practicing Falun Gong at the time. She had read the Falun Gong book Zhuan Falun only four times before she was thrown into the prison with many other fellow practitioners. At least three other fellow practitioners that Ms. Yi knew died of torture inside the jail, one of whom died while being held by Ms. Yi.
Ms. Wang Chunyan said it was her first time attending such a grand candlelight vigil event. She found it hard to control herself at the scene. Ms. Wang was holding a picture of a fellow practitioner. “Look. This is my fellow practitioner Sun Lianxia. She was a physician who lived next door to me. She was the first victim of persecution in the city of Dalian.” Ms. Wang continued, “I myself was jailed two times. I spent seven years in prison, and my husband was persecuted to death. Nineteen other fellow practitioners that I knew had passed away from the persecution. All these people just wanted to be good citizens, yet what they received was persecution, and their lives were destroyed. This is an attack against the principles of ‘Zhen, Shan, Ren’ as well as human morality.”
The opening speech for this candlelight vigil read, “Seventeen years is just a flash in the long human history. Seventeen years, in the journey of a person’s life, is almost a generation. Under the dome of the universe, sentient beings are looking up. The light of hope is spreading across the vast dimension. Each and every candle drips like tears, telling the story of the most vicious attack against a group of kindhearted people who refuse to give up their faiths. Each and every candlelight shines, driving away the darkness around.”
The whole vigil scene was very solemn and moving. It attracted many tourists. Many people were eager to learn about what was happening.
Ada was Poland woman visiting the States with her family. Her whole family was sitting on the stone stairs before the Lincoln Memorial silently watching the vigil. Ada said, “Everyone should have the freedom of faith. The Chinese government does not allow people to have and share faiths. That’s too much. The government even performs live organ harvesting. I do not know how to describe the brutality of such a regime.”
Computer engineer Greg was from Utah visiting the DC area with his family. When his family got close to the Lincoln Memorial, they stopped. “This scene here is really moving. It almost touches my soul, and I can feel the peace and courage of those people there. They are sharing their experiences and faiths here so that more people can know about the terrible persecution that is still going on in China. I like this event,” Greg said.
Cameron Hubneke was from Florida. “Live organ harvesting on Falun Gong practitioners? That is just terrible! I have heard that the Chinese Communist government would crackdown on spiritual movements before. Everyone in the world should learn about the persecution against Falun Gong in China and support Falun Gong’s movement to end the persecution as soon as possible!” Cameron said.
Translated from: http://news.zhengjian.org/node/16/32912