I'm so hopped on migraine meds I missed this earlier. I don't know how.
Twenty years ago, today, I was an idealistic college dropout, twenty years old, who watched this unfold on television, live, as far as I can remember. My father was and is a total news geek and if I was in the house, ever, he called me over to watch things as they unfolded. (I also caught live footage of the fall of the Berlin Wall this way. Among other things.)
Even at age twenty, I understood the significance. THE TANKS STOPPED. They did not want to harm the general public. And you know what happens when the military sides with the general public.
They missed it by a hair's breadth.
All the world over, I think everyone has associated with this guy, this everyday citizen who no one knew, who was on his way home with groceries, who was just sick and fucking tired of the violence and had totally had it. So he stepped up, and he said his piece (or demonstrated it) and made it known: the little guy was done with the violence.
I'm not sure anyone knows what ever happened to him. No one's quite sure who he WAS, at least here in the west. I sincerely wonder if he is still alive and somehow, I doubt it.
Religion isn't really my thing, but I hope wherever he is now, it's peaceful and he can get his groceries, and go home, and make himself a nice quiet dinner.