Don’t forget our history

DKS Editors

Of all the events that have shaped Kent State’s nearly 100-year history, one – May 4, 1970 – stands a level above the rest.

Kent State’s history is incomplete without the events of May 4. That day forever changed this campus – and really, the world. Four students were killed, nine were wounded and thousands of lives were affected by what happened.

For years, dialogue between the students and National Guardsmen who were on campus in 1970 was infrequent at best. But tonight, members of both groups will meet in a public forum to discuss the events of May 4, and “Dateline NBC” will be there to film it all.

The forum, which kicks off a year of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of May 4, is important for this campus. If there’s one thing May 4 should teach us, it’s that open public discourse is needed. This forum is a significant step in that direction.

More than that, though, it’s an important event for students to attend. Whether you’re an expert or a novice about the history of May 4, it’s still important to go hear what these people have to say.

With Kent State’s Centennial Celebration and the 40th anniversary of May 4 both occurring in 2010, history should be on everyone’s mind. It’s important for students to go to events like this forum to learn more about significant moments in Kent State history. Otherwise, the importance of those historical events will slowly fade away as the years continue to pass.

The presence of both a guardsman and students from 1970 also should drive you to attend this forum – especially because the guardsman, J.R. Snyder, is talking about the events in public for the first time.

For years, both groups went back and forth with their views of what happened in 1970. We hope this forum can help clear up some of the uncertainty surrounding May 4. At the very least, it’s a good chance to hear both sides of the story.

Most importantly, this forum has a chance to make the world remember once more what happened May 4. Though Kent State hasn’t forgotten, sometimes it seems the world has – and that’s extremely unfortunate. If a lot of students attend tonight’s forum, it could show people that May 4, and the lessons it taught us, are still relevant in today’s world.

So we urge you to go to the forum tonight. One hour of your time could ensure that Kent State’s history is never forgotten.

This editorial was the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.