Tank Man

A man, whose identity to this day is still unknown,  but his bravery has been recognized by many, including Time Magazine. “Tank Man”, is an incredibly brave man, known for the way he stood his ground in front of several Chinese tanks, blocking their path. The picture on the right, spread worldwide, becoming one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

This event took place on June 5, 1989, during the Tiananmen Square protests, in Beijing, China. The student-led protest was set in Tiananmen Square, where they exposed the faults in China’s political leadership. In response, Chinese leaders used military power to put an end to the protests with force.

Just off Tiananmen Square, on Chang’An Avenue, a long line of tanks were approaching, when this unknown Chinese man stepped in front of them, shopping bags in hand, preventing the tanks from advancing. He continued to move side to side to stop the tanks from moving around him. After the tank engines turned off, Tank Man climbed onto the first tank, and from the footage, looked like he was having a conversation with the man inside. After their short conversation, the engines restarted, and the man was ready to stand off. Soon after the engines restarted, two men pulled him off to the side, into a crowd.

The fate and identities of Tank Man and the two men who pulled him away or unknown, but there are speculations of who they were, what happened afterwards. The identity of Tank Man may never be known, but his eminence lives within the iconic photos that were taken at the time. Tank Man is a symbol of courage and rebellion, that I have the utmost respect to.

My goals for this Eminent Person project, is to learn more about Tank Man, and the influence he has had on others. One thing I admire personally is his confidence throughout the whole event. One personal goal this year ,is to be more confident in what I do, both inside and outside the classroom. Tank Man and I have some similarities in gender, race, and class, but I live on the other side of the world, so I can’t relate to what it’s like living in that part of the world.

Overall, Tank Man’s actions and influence has struck interest, and I am looking forward to what I will learn, and I know this Eminent Person project will be a lot of fun.