Kent State and May 4

I wasn’t planning to write about this. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind as I was running this morning. Kent State and May 4, 1970. That’s 38 years and a lifetime ago — but I still think about Allison Krause and the others who were killed and injured that day.

I didn’t know Allison — or Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. But I think about Allison because of the Pittsburgh connection, hers and mine. And I think what a shame. Allison and the others would have been — should have been — in their late 50s now. Maybe they would be ending careers. Maybe they would be parents — possibly grandparents. I can’t shake those thoughts having been at Kent State myself in 1970, although graduating in March and back home in Pittsburgh in May.

I know there is no point in rehashing what happened that day 38 years ago. If you have an opinion, like me, it has been anchored in concrete for years. For most others now — it’s history. Yet it is worth remembering. We’ll see what happens in American cities and on campuses throughout the nation when we don’t have enough volunteer troops to fight the 100-year war in Iraq.

And as the Olympic torch continues its trek to Beijing it’s interesting how much attention is paid to the Chinese government and its policies toward dissent. Yet there are still people in Ohio and elsewhere who have no problem with the fact that at Kent State 38 years ago the militia killed four unarmed students. So it goes.

I’m about to leave Kent State for the third time: 1970 with my bachelor’s degree, 1979 with my master’s and 2008 as a faculty member. That’s pretty much a lifetime. What a tragedy that Allison and the others didn’t have the same opportunity.

Update: I wasn’t going to include any video. But then I figured there may be some reading this who don’t have the context for what happened at Kent. Some of my friends might not like this. WTF

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2 responses to “Kent State and May 4

  1. Hi, Rob,

    Thanks for posting about May 4 and including this video on your blog.

    You’re right — many people still need to put the events of that day in context. One of my students at the University of Akron asked me why KSU built a May 4 memorial on a campus parking lot. She didn’t know that is where the four students died.

    I was on campus on May 4 38 years ago, and I will always remember the injustice of what happened that day and mourn those who died.

  2. Paula,

    Hi. Thanks for your comment. We need to remember what happened at Kent State May 4, 1970. And those of us who do remember need to do what we can to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.

    Hope to see you at the Press Club one of these days.

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