A candlelight vigil, held in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Tuesday, remembered the victims of the 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Kin Cheung/AP

Massive Hong Kong vigil held 30 years after Tiananmen

Updated 2:38 PM ET, Tue June 4, 2019

A candlelight vigil, held in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Tuesday, remembered the victims of the 1989 massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Kin Cheung/AP

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The mood was funereal but defiant as people paid respect to those who died three decades ago.

Hundreds of people were killed on June 4, 1989, as Chinese troops cracked down on pro-democracy protesters around Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The massacre made headlines around the world — with iconic images such as the "Tank Man" bravely defying the troops on the square — but it particularly resonated in Hong Kong, which was then eight years away from being handed over from British to Chinese control.

Hong Kong is the only place on Chinese soil where major mass commemorations are held for the event.

There were emotional scenes during the two-hour-long memorial Tuesday, particularly during a video address by Zhang Xianling, one of the surviving members of the Tiananmen Mothers, a group set up by those who lost children during the massacre.

"The grief threatened to crush us, but it has now been transformed into our motivation to fight for justice," Zhang said.