Incredible bravery recalled on Frontline

Twenty-five years ago, a young man stood in defiance of hardline rulers and earned the unofficial title of Bravest Man in the World.

He stood in front of a Chinese tank — yes, a tank — and stared down the barrel of a large turret gun while his comrades demonstrated in Tiananmen Square against the despotic rule of the communists who still rule the country today.

Frontline, PBS’s award-winning documentary series, recalls the events of that amazing demonstration. You can view it online at the link attached above.

It’s never been entirely clear what happened to that young man. Reports have surfaced since the 1989 demonstration that he was killed when the military struck back against the rioters, or that he was taken prisoner, or that he lives to this day — perhaps in hiding.

The world, of course, remembers that event and its aftermath. The People’s Republic of China has sought over the years to erase it from its history, to pretend it never happened. The rest of us know better.

The event occurred because thousands of Chinese wanted greater freedom. The Chinese responded with brute force, as seen in that iconic photo of the man facing down the tank.

Frontline broadcast in 2006 a special looking back at the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and examines what happened to the Bravest Man in the World. His singular act of courage in the face of iron-fisted rule stands forever as a testament to human beings’ on-going quest for freedom.

Take a look and see how Frontline covered it.


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