Our View: May 4 is part of Kent State’s identity

Ohio National Guardsmen shot and killed four Kent State students and wounded nine others on May 4, 1970, while students protested the American war in Vietnam on campus.

The university created the May 4 Visitors Center, which was formally dedicated at the 2013 commemoration, to educate the public about how and why May 4 happened.

The center includes artifacts from the time, accounts of people who were on campus in 1970 and a documentary about the events leading up to and following May 4.

However, few students know the details about what happened 46 years ago, and many never visit the center in their time at Kent, which is a shame. 

Although what happened that day is still the subject of controversy, it is important for us as a university community to educate ourselves, honor the victims and remember the protesters who skipped classes and faced the barrels of guns to stand up for what they believed in.

May 4 is a vital part of our university’s history and identity, and every Kent State student should learn about May 4 and the effect it had on both the university community and the nation to to truly become a part of Kent State.