Opinion: May 4 remembrance in prayer

Dylan Webb is a teaching English as a second language major. Contact him at [email protected].

Dylan Webb

It’s that time of year again where the flowers are out, the weather is briefly warm and students are frazzled by finals. Then again, there’s something to remember that’s a part of not only the history of this school or nation, but humanity’s history in fighting for what is right; the tragedy on May 4, 1970.

The group of visitors, teachers, students and witnesses to that tragic day started at the Victory Bell last night. It was solemn throughout the entire hour walk; no words were said, only thoughts of reflection and memories of times past.

The whole time, I had the haunting thought that one of these students who perished could have been me if I had been at the same time and place.

In commemoration, (Kent State’s) Hillel dedicated a memorial at the place where the four students—Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder and Sandra Scheuer—perished. The memorial stands as a permanent reminder of their lives and the injustice of their loss.

One of the most important values in Judaism is based on a simple Hebrew word “zachar,” which means to remember. Judaism is based on remembering our history and seeing how we repeat it or the wisdom we can gain from it. Whether it be the Exodus—the story on how the Jewish people freed themselves from Egyptian bondage and came to the promised land—we relate this story now from leaving the habits, limits and negative beliefs that limit it us to a new light.

As I said the Mourner’s Kaddish, tears filled my eyes. I was mourning the four slain on this campus, almost able to perfectly picture that gorgeous—yet infamous—May day the guardsmen shot a rain of bullets upon the students, the screams and the horrid realization of what had happened after the initial shock. After the prayer, all I could do was think in shock on my own and was realized it was more of tragedy than I ever imagined.

Once again, the story is replayed in the voice of justice being hurt by the oppressor attempting to silence it. Ultimately the voice that professes peace, justice and love is the one that lasts and its message heard and received. So, in this next week, reflect on the past knowing, and remembering our legacy here at Kent State. To carry the torch of fighting for what is righteous and be the voice of justice for those who can’t speak for themselves.