Remember lessons of May 4

A view of the memorial and Taylor Hall.

Credit: Beth Rankin

As a Kent State student there is no story that will be more ingrained in you by the time you graduate than the story of what happened on May 4, 1970.

If you haven’t already been told, four students were killed and nine students were injured at Kent State on that day.

In your time here you will be told this story and all its intricacies what will like a thousand times.

You will learn how Allison Krause, Jeffery Miller, William Schroeder and Sandra Scheuer were shot by National Guardsmen on that fateful day.

You will learn how 13 seconds and 67 bullets changed the course of history and forever left a mark on Kent State.

Each year you will be reminded — as if you could forget — when the university and community come together to remember the anniversary with a candlelight vigil.

When the candlelight vigil begins on the evening of May 3, you will know and understand why hundreds have gathered to make their way from the Victory Bell in the Commons to the markers in the Taylor Hall parking lot.

When over 58,000 daffodils bloom on Blanket Hill each year, you will know they stand for more than spring’s arrival.

Every time you walk past the May 4 Memorial near Taylor Hall or through the Taylor Hall parking lot, where markers still signal the spots the students were killed, you will remember.

When you’re out of town and tell someone you are a Kent State student, it’s what they will remember and ask about.

In your tenure here, you will hear and see what prompted the weekend’s events and culminated in the death of students. You will be told the facts from both sides and be able to draw your own conclusions.

And though you may roll your eyes the thousandth time someone asks you about it and say, “That was 35 years ago, it doesn’t matter anymore,” you won’t be able to ignore it. And you certainly won’t be able to forget.

Although 35 years have elapsed since the events of May 4 unfolded on campus, its lessons are still relevant to students today.

The events of that day will forever be tied to Kent State. And by virtue of being a Kent State student, you will know better than peers at other schools that it’s about more than any war or any single event.

It’s a constant reminder to, as the words inscribed on the May 4 Memorial will remind you each time you walk past:




The above column was written by editor Matt Peters and managing editor Meranda Watling.