I spent the rest of the night observing the massacre, which was actually a series ofmachine gUlmings ofdemonstrators on Jianquomen Road, due east of Tiananmen Square. Every haIfhour or so, the soldiers would open fire on the angry demonstrators closing in on them, killing and wounding 20 to 30 people. Each time the firing started, I would run quickly to the nearest ree and wait out the gunfire, then go back out into the street and count bodies. This was my first searing experience in the Foreign Service, which I had joined the previous year. I stayed in Beijing until I was assigned to Madras, India, in 1992, where we, enlarged by Christopher (born 1990) and Caroline (1993), lived three wonderful years. The Indian people, especially in South India, are wonder- fully warnl, and India was just beginning its now rapid development. In 1996, we moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where I was assigned as political officer. Kenya has traditionally been an island ofstability and development in Africa and, thus, an ideal place from which to view the rest of Mrica and enable this Sinologist to begin to under- stand Africa. The U.S. Embassy is very active in pushing democratization and good governance (a euphemism for anti- corruption) in Kenya, so I have felt that he work we do here is valuable. Kenya, moreover, is one of the most spectacularly beautiful countries in the world. We went safariing most weekends, and the children became adept at spotting lions, leopards and cheetahs, and discern- ing varieties ofgazelles, zebras and giraffes. It has been a wonderful place to live. Until 10: 36 a.m., August 7. That Friday morning began typically. The busy intersection of Hailie Selassie and Moi avenues, where the five-story (plus basement) embassy is located, was as bustling, noisy and colorful as it usually is.
An evangelist on the traffic island called
to passers-by to repent and come to Jesus.
I was in the weekly councilors' meeting
in Ambassador Prudence Bushnell's office
on the fifth floor. She was away from the
building (not safely away, it turned out-
she was at the trade minister's office on
the 21st floor of the Cooperative Bank
building adjacent to the embassy). I sat
there as the discussion progressed getting
more and more antsy. I knew that Joanne
and the children would have arrived in
the basement Medical Unit at 10: 30 a.m.
for vaccinations. She had taken both of
them out of school for the appointment.
They were to have come in Thursday
afternoon, but I changed it because I was
too busy to join them then, and I wanted
to be there for the
shots, of which Caro-
line is not overly
fond. So, I asked for
a Ftiday 10: 30
would give me time
to get downstairs
from the 10 a.m.
Joanne, I later
learned, arrived at the embassy rear park-
ing lot at 10:33 a.m., parked in the med-
ical unit reserved parking space next to a
strange yellow pickup truck [which
F.B.I. investigators suspect was packed
with explosives], entered the back gate of
the embassy and walked down the long
inclined ramp that goes from ground
level down to the basement, where the
medical unit is located. She, Christopher
and Caroline opened the back door from
the garage at the foot ofthe ramp into the
embassy basement. The door closed, and
there was a heavy thud that shook the
door. "What was that?" asked Christopher.
"It sounded like a bomb."
They walked on down the conidor
and reached the med unit door just as
the world ended.
I looked at my watch, 10: 30, arucious,
knowing that my beloved children were
in the basement and that I would always
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