May 4, 2006

Madelyn Otcasek

President Carol Cartwright leads those walking in remembrance of May 4 down the sidewalk on East Main Street. MICHELE ROEHRIG | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The crowd chattered anxiously until the Victory Bell rang out, signaling for silence among the 200-plus crowd in the Commons.

Commemorating May 4

Here’s what is happening today :

Annual Silent Candlelight Vigil

What: The annual vigil will be held in

the spaces where the four slain students fell in the Prentice Hall Parking Lot. Participants will be standing for half-hour shifts.

When: Midnight to 12:24 p.m.

Where: Prentice Hall Parking Lot

36th Annual May 4 Commemoration

What: “The Cost of War: Then and Now.”

Speakers include Medea Benjamin, founding director of Global Exchange and co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace, and Mary Ann Vecchio, witness to the May 4 shootings. There will also be performances by Emma’s Revolution and ep3.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: KSU Commons

What else: Rain location will be in the

Kent State Ballroom.

Arlington Mid-West Memorial

What: A memorial to the fallen soldiers

of Iraq and Afghanistan. Individual tombstone markers bearing the names of every casualty represent the cost of war and encourage open dialogue on the cost of war. Exhibit brought to campus by the Northeast Ohio Peace Coalition.

When: All day

Where: KSU Commons

March for Peace

What: A rally will commence after the

commemoration and will proceed to the gazebo on Franklin Street in downtown Kent.

Where: Starts at KSU Commons

When: After the commemoration

Source: May 4 Task Force

The annual Candlelight March last night began the vigil and memorial of the May 4,1970 shootings.

Kevin Heade, senior education and political science major and president of the May 4 Task Force, said the candlelight march is an “intimate opportunity to reflect on the tragedy.”

“(The) act of marching in silence is overwhelming,” he said.

This walk has been taking place every year since May 3, 1971. It was started by Emeritus Professor Jerry Lewis with the help of several students.

The march went from the Commons behind Taylor Hall and culminated in the Prentice Hall parking lot to begin the more than 12-hour vigil.

Participants held candles in paper cups as they took the long stroll around campus.

“The light represents their life, (that) their memory lives on,” Heade said.

The most moving part of the vigil is having a collective sense of remembrance with people from all over the world, he said. People came from as far as Canada and even Australia.

“It’s an enlightening moment seeing people who lived through it,” he said.

This is an event that “shaped the way (people) think about war,” Heade said, “(and) the toll it takes on citizens.”

Streetsboro resident Michelle Touve said she participated to keep the spirit of activism alive in Kent.

“If I’m not hearing anything, it’s not good,” she said.

Members of the Task Force said they were happy with the attendance, which was a mix of community members and students. They also said that more students attended than in the past.

Police barricades were in place on Terrace Drive as the walkers made their way between Merrill and Lowry Halls toward Main Street.

The echoes of students across campus did not deter the crowd walking in memory of the students shot 36 years ago.

Contact news aide Madelyn Otcasek at [email protected]