Monday, May 03, 2010

Remembering Kent State

Today, 4 May, is the anniversary of the shootings by Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State University 40 years ago. I was in high school and remember when it happened, and Neil Young's song "Ohio" memorializing the event.

From Wikipedia:

The Kent State shootings – also known as the May 4 massacre or Kent State massacre – occurred at Kent State University in the city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

Some of the students who were shot had been protesting against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.

I suggest looking at the accounts of what happened that day, before, and after. What was the response—by the media, other schools, the people.

Consider this: "On May 14, ten days after the Kent State shootings, two students were killed by police at the historically black Jackson State University under similar circumstances, but that event did not arouse the same nationwide attention as the Kent State shootings." (Wikipedia)

Is that just how it goes . . . how we are? With short attention spans. History has a singular purpose of informing the future. I would like to be informed. Not necessarily to carry an emotional situation forward, but to enhance my observation skills. Increase my "what to be on the look out for" abilities.

Kent State was tragic and the whole thing 40-years later has a dampening effect on an already rain-sky darkened day. I don't always have to feel good about the day I'm in.

Read also:
An analysis of Neil Young's song "Ohio"

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