Although I was very young at the time, I remember it vividly, an American tragedy. Growing up in an activist family, I had been to the Moratorium March in Washington D.C. the year before with my mother.
None of the four people killed at Kent State had it coming, but the fire from the National Guard was indiscriminate.
There is an excellent article on the subject in the latest New Yorker, Kent State and the War That Never Ended by Jill Lepore. Author James Michener does not fare too well in the article, shown to be a rank apologist for Rhodes and Nixon. Lepore weaves in similar tragedies at both Jackson State and Berkeley, America only too ready to take aim at its own citizens.
My friend, the writer and photographer Wilbur Norman has written a short piece on Kent State at his blog, Norman's Gazette.
My friend Steve is also an Ohioan, he sent me this note:
Where were you ??? 50 years...good Lord. Roommate & I were working with Toledo schools...took a group of kids "camping in the wilds". No tv, radio, phone. Didn't know what happened until we returned on Friday after the "event". It got crazy, but I wonder if we've gotten anywhere since. Seems like we just tread water, go from one calamity to another, each of a different nature. Somehow, I thought life would be different...