Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young immortalized the massacre of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, with the following:
Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drummin’
Four dead in Ohio
Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?
I wasn’t planning to write about this — but I couldn’t get it out of my mind this morning. Kent State and May 4, 1970. That’s 50 years and a lifetime ago — but I still think about Allison Krause and the others who were killed and injured that day.
I didn’t know Allison — or Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. But I think about Allison because of the Pittsburgh connection, hers and mine. And I think what a shame. Allison and the others would have been — should have been — in their late 60s or early 70s now. Maybe they would be ending careers. Maybe they would be parents — possibly grandparents. I can’t shake those thoughts having been at Kent State myself in 1970, although graduating in March and back home in Pittsburgh in May.
I know there is no point in rehashing what happened on May 4, 1970, and the days immediately before it. If you have an opinion, like me, it has been anchored in concrete for years. For most others now — it’s history.
Yet it is a day in America’s history worth remembering.
And what happened at Kent State 50 years ago today is something we must never forget.