Forty-One Years Ago Today; Have We Learned Nothing?
On this day 41 years ago we witnessed the excess of government at Kent State University when innocent students were indiscriminately executed in an action to preserve and protect the perversion of that time. We, that generation and the intelligent supporters of it, should not have stopped. We should have continued to the point of a full Revolution to bring this nation and our Government back into alignment.
Time has given proof of that truth.
Since then this nation has been led into an “Illegal War” in Iraq, a war for oil where we have squandered our nation’s treasure and consigned American Servicemen and women to death, maimed and permanent mental impairment in a “Blood for Oil” for Oil War and a Bush Family War of fulfillment. That is not only criminal, not only an action of International War Criminality, but an action that has disgraced this nation and what it was supposed to stand for.
We have squandered our reputation and credibility. We have disgraced our own flag.
We have welcomed home as loyal, patriotic warrior representatives the soldiers of that war and we have honored them with words. We have also witnessed and permitted them to be consigned to medical and mental treatment and rehabilitation lesser than that afforded our pet cats and dogs. We tout on the evening news the exceptions and hide/censor the fate of the majority of those who served with honorable faith to their oath of service.
I have not a problem with those who have served with faithfulness to their oath of service; I have deep despise for those who authored that war with total contempt for our nation’s Constitution and their Oath of office. They should be in prison or have left this life via the gallows. I do not support the Death Penalty; but those who would play with the tools of war; ought perish by the rules of war.
They should not permitted to profit and prosper with books and speaking engagements to explain away in additional lies their acts of terminal, genocidal criminality.
We are a lesser people and lesser nation for allowing those acts and circumstances.
We are, have become, a flock-following nation of impotent hypocrites.
No campus today is erupting over recent American interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. But the memory of campuses transformed into war zones is still fresh in the minds of US military planners, as they seek to fashion limited engagements relying on a strictly volunteer army. With even the Tea Party movement now calling for an end to wars that needlessly drain the nation's treasury, were Obama or another US president to reinstitute a military draft to put unwilling Americans, especially college students, on the ground to fight and die, is there any doubt that a new season of bitter protest could erupt, once again?
Posted Apr. 27, 2011
As a way for individuals to remember the events of May 4, 1970, Kent State University will host a series of events and activities to reflect on the 41st anniversary of that historic day.
The May 4 Walking Tour documentary and the May 4 film for First-Year Experience course are new to this year’s commemoration. Individuals also will have the opportunity to experience the Symposium on Democracy and the May 4 Commemoration Ceremony, where they can pay their respects and remember the events of May 4, 1970, from noon to 2 p.m.
“In telling the May 4 story, we honor the loss of Kent State students Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder,” said Laura Davis, Kent State University professor of English and faculty coordinator for May 4 initiatives. “We also serve the present and the future by providing a place for reflection on the enduring meaning of May 4, 1970 — its place in history and its continuing relation to human experience.”
In addition to the Commemoration Ceremony, other event details are as follows:
May 4 Walking Tour Documentary
Beginning on April 29, visitors will have the chance to follow in the steps of history through the new May 4 Walking Tour Documentary:May 4, 1970: Someone to Tell the Story. The documentary will give individuals a look inside May 4, 1970, by presenting 500 archival photographs never before assembled together to illustrate the historical day. The documentary is narrated by notable civil rights leader Julian Bond, and the chapters of the documentary are focused around the seven May 4 Walking Tour trail markers.
To view the film, visitors may go to the circulation desk inside the Kent State University Library entrance and then check out an iPod on which the documentary is loaded. Visitors are encouraged to bring along their own headphones to use with the iPod as they follow the outdoor walking tour.
Visitors also may access the soundtrack for the film with their own cell phones by calling 330-672-MAY4 (6294).
May 4 Visitors Center and Expert Guided Tours of May 4 Site
While experiencing the historic May 4 site, visitors may stop in to the future home of the May 4 Visitors Center in 101 Taylor Hall, adjacent to the May 4 Memorial. Visitors may view the design plans for the future Visitors Center, which will tell the May 4 story set against the political and cultural changes of the 1960s. The future exhibit will immerse visitors in the events of that historic day and show the deep and broad impact of the shootings. Reflecting on the meaning of May 4 for today, visitors to the future center will have opportunity to record their thoughts, which will then be displayed in the exhibit. External grant funding and donations are currently being sought for the construction of the permanent May 4 Visitors Center exhibit.
Expert guided tours of the May 4 site will be offered during the 2011 commemoration. Tours will originate at the May 4 Visitors Center located in room 101 of Taylor Hall. The schedule for the May 4 Visitors Center open hours and tours is:
May 4 Task Force Schedule of Events
Tuesday, May 3
Wednesday, May 4
NEW LOCATION: Commemoration Ceremony in the Kent Student Center Ballroom:
Symposium on Democracy: Democracy and Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
From April 27-29 in Oscar Ritchie Hall, the Department of History, the Department of Pan-African Studies and the Women’s Studies Program sponsor the Symposium on Democracy: Democracy and Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The 12th annual conference brings national and international experts to Kent State to examine the critical issues of war-related sexual violence, the representation of women, extractive industries and existing and potential democratic grassroots efforts in the conflict zones.
This conference provides individuals with the opportunity to learn about the most lethal conflict since World War II and also understand the ways in which our own demands for high-tech gadgets have helped to prolong the conflict.
May 4 First-Year Experience Film: Fire in the Heartland
During last year’s Commemoration events, the executive board of Black United Students attended a film viewing of Fire in the Heartland. The film was created by Daniel Miller, a Kent State student who was present and highly involved in the events surrounding May 4, 1970.
Due to the impact of the film, the student organization’s executive board members decided the film would be a powerful way to illustrate the events of May 4, 1970, to students during Kent State’s First-Year Experience Course for freshmen. After several months of meetings and collaboration, Fire in the Heartland became the new May 4, 1970, video for incoming freshmen to watch. Black United Students secretary Jamilia Bush said the film contains a better connection to today’s students.
“The film showed more of a student's perspective and how it correlates to being students now,” Bush said. “The film is also longer and, therefore, gives more detail compared to the 50-minute film, The Day the War Came Home (previous film).”
For more information about May 4, www.kent.edu/may4. For more information regarding this year’s May 4 Commemoration events, visit www.kent.edu/about/history/may4/newsroom and www.m4tf.org.
# # #
Emily Vincent, email@example.com, 330-672-8595
Bob Burford, firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-672-8516