At the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia: Commemorating More than a Thousand Falun Gong Practitioners Who Gave their Lives for Their Righteous Belief (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) On July 20, 2004, at 8:30p.m., Falun Gong practitioners in Philadelphia held a candlelight vigil at the square between the Liberty Bell and the US Constitution Center to commemorate more than 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners who were killed by Jiang's group over the past five years. Practitioners held a candlelight vigil on the lawn in the hopes that kind-hearted people would also light a candle to support the Falun Gong practitioners who have not yet obtained freedom.
With the accompaniment of the Dafa music, "Pu Du" and "Ji Shi," a practitioner read out the names of 1009 Falun Gong practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution.
Many Falun Gong practitioners and their relatives in the greater Philadelphia area have suffered in the persecution. Practitioner Li Jiangfan's brother Li Baifan died as a result of the persecution for practicing Falun Gong. Doctor Yang Jingduan's older sister Yang Jingfang and Dr. Qiu Qingqing's younger sister Qiu Yanyan are still being held in labor camps. Chen Gang from New Jersey suffered 18-months of torture in a labor camp.
Chen Gang said, "On this day, China began a comprehensive suppression of Falun Gong. I was arrested on the first July 20th, and on the second July 20th I was put in a detention center. On the third July 20th I was still held in the detention center. On the fourth July 20th I was released but local police still monitored me. On the fifth July 20th, that was July 20th last year, I finally had an opportunity to come to the US and was free from that environment of persecution."
Mathew Shinkarow, who stood in front of the Liberty Bell, holding a candle, began practicing Falun Gong two and a half years ago. He said, "I came here tonight to support Falun Gong and to help people learn about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. On this day several years ago, more than a thousand Falun Gong practitioners were arrested." He said practicing Falun Gong helped him rid of many bad habits, such as smoking and drinking and so on, and broadened his horizons..
Chen Gang continued, "Just now, hearing them read the names of practitioners who are confirmed to have died as a result of the persecution in China, I was very sad, because I have experienced this persecution, and I know the pain of being tortured, but they have been tortured to death." "I hope all people can work together to stop this persecution. I hope this time next year, the persecution will no longer exist."