Shortly after eight o'clock the lights went out and thousands of candles were held aloft. There was a moment of silence, then solemn music interspersed with images and clips of speeches from student leaders in 1989.
It was a powerful moment.
Then they stood, and a voice recited the names of those known to have died.
A heavy drumbeat followed, growing in intensity.
In the crowd, nobody stirred. Candles flickered as far as the eye could see.
Nobody knows the exact number who died, since there has been no real accounting. It could be hundreds, possibly thousands.
And the message from Hong Kong tonight is that while the Chinese government may want to tease from history the events June 4, 1989, this outpost of China, which still enjoys some autonomy, is determined to keep the memory alive.