Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 1970: Innocence Lost

May 4 Memorial, Kent State University
The May 4 Memorial is surrounded by 58,175 daffodils
to symbolize those U.S. servicemen and servicewomen
who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Edna: Margie, today is the 40-year anniversary of those awful shootings at Kent State University in Ohio. Do you remember when that happened?

Margie: Edna, it seems like only yesterday that this happened. I wasn't alone in feeling shock, sadness, and a shift in the world as we'd known it. Many illusions were shattered that day and this country felt connected by the purest form of grief.

Edna: You're so right. You know, a news story the other day related to the May 4th protests caught my attention. It talked about how so many of the 1970 senior classes at Ohio universities were denied a commencement ceremony because the campuses were shut down after the demonstrations and the shootings. But there is something nice coming out of it: to mark the 40-year anniversary, many of them are being invited to walk with the 2010 graduating classes, to make up for the graduation they missed. Isn't that lovely? I think it helps to bring those events full circle; from something horrible to something good.

Margie: That's wonderful, Edna. I hope that will bring some good feelings to shine on that sad time. I'm sure it hasn't been easy for the families of those National Guardsmen either.

Edna: I imagine not. It would be good if today folks could reflect on everyone who lost their innocence that day, on what was sacrificed, and on what we could still learn about peace and understanding.

Margie: I agree, Edna. We're all brothers and sisters beneath it all.


Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

I remember it well ladies. I was just 19 at the time and even though I do now, I don't think I fully grasped the enormity of the situation at the time. It seemed like all of our conversations in those days began with, "Did you hear, so and so died (in Vietnam)". My husband and I are coming up on our 40th anniversary in Sept. Thanks for remembering Kent State. RIP to those who died that day.

RNSANE said...

I can't believe it has been 40 years since Kent State. There has been so much violence in our high schools and college campuses in the years since then. I just wish there were some way it could all come to an end and people could treat each other with respect and tolerance.

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