Friday, May 4, 2012

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming

We're finally on our own.

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the KENT STATE shootings, a marker in time for baby boomers.
May 4, 1970, we were nearing the end of our freshman year in college and looking forward to Summer. The Kent State students went out on campus to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam. That was common at the time. Four never came home.

Imagine Washington Square filled with chanting NYU Students, and now imagine the Governor calls out the militia and:
“At 12:24 pm, according to eyewitnesses, a Sgt. Myron Pryor turned and began firing at the students with his .45 pistol. A number of guardsmen nearest the students also turned and fired their rifles at the students. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen claimed to have fired their weapons, using a final total of 67 rounds of ammunition. The shooting was determined to have lasted only 13 seconds, although John Kifner reported in the New York Times that "it appeared to go on, as a solid volley, for perhaps a full minute or a little longer."

Hard to believe, right? Four dead. Nine wounded. Two of the dead were in the protest and the other two were just walking to class. At the time we stood stunned and just stared. Crosby Stills recorded a protest song. The country debated it for awhile. And then it went away. That was 42 years ago today.

We were freshman.

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