1989 Participant's Profile: Yang Minghu (杨明湖)

Yang Minghu, male, born February 1, 1947, killed at age 42; before his death, he was a staff member of the legal department of the patent section of the China Trade Promotion Commission; before dawn, at about 2:00am on June 4, 1989, he received a gunshot wound at Nanchizi that split his bladder into pieces and shattered his pelvis; he died at 8:00 a.m. on June 6 at Beijing Tongren Hospital, when efforts to save his life were to no avail; his ashes rest at Wanan Cemetery in the western suburbs. Testimony of You Weijie, widow of Yang Minghu:

In the early morning of June 4, at 1:00 a.m., Yang Minghu left the house. We had heard gunfire and gone downstairs together, where we heard our neighbors coming back from Xidan say that something was happening on the streets. Yang Minghu was worried about the students remaining in Tiananmen Square and decided to go out and have a look. He didn't believe that the people's army could use machine guns and tanks against unarmed civilians. He left the house by bicycle and went to Nanchizi on the western side of Tiananmen and stood on the side of east Chang'an Boulevard with the rest of the crowd.

Around 2:30 a.m., the martial law troops burst forth from the public security bureau compound and fired into the crowd. Yang Minghu was struck by a bullet, and after 3:00 a.m. the people took him by flatbed tricycle to Tongren Hospital. He was wounded in his bladder, which was shot to pieces, and his pelvis was shattered. The hospital sewed up his bladder. But because his pelvis was so shattered and some capillaries were destroyed, the doctors had no way of operating on him. Yang Minghu's spirit struggled with death for two days and two nights in the hospital. During this time, he bled away the blood transfusions that were given to him. Finally, on June 6, at 8 o'clock, he died of an infection in his abdominal cavity and heart failure. Immediately before his death, in a feeble voice from deep within his chest, he apologized to me, saying "Forgive me! Forgive me!" He didn't have the strength to say more.

Yang Minghu died with many regrets, because he was in the prime of life, because there was so much he needed to do and especially because his death struck such a huge blow to his family. At that time, we had a young child, and together we planned to raise and educate him. Now that burden falls on me alone. Our child early on lost his father's love, early on had to deal with the kind of emotional wounds no child should have to bear. At the time of Minghu's death, my child was not quite five years old, just at the stage of becoming aware, yet he would never be able to be educated by his father. At the factory where I work, business is bad, the factory is changing and from my perspective, the difficulty of shouldering the burden of a child's education by myself is beyond words. The bloody reality of June Fourth shocks me, and I am appalled that the government would employ such brutal and cruel methods against its own people.

You Weijie
January 28, 1999

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