Kent, OHIO—On the 40th anniversary of the Kent State massacre, a crowd gathered in remembrance of the four students who were shot and killed. Nine more students that were injured in the shooting were commemorated as well.
National Guard members lined up in formation and opened fire on a crowd of Vietnam War student protesters—a moment that was forever captured in black and white photographs.
The Kent State massacre marked a boiling point in the tensions in student protests against the unpopular Vietnam War that was broadcast across television throughout many U.S. households.
Louise Foresman, a researcher for a nonprofit, said the day is an important time in our history. “These people were just trying to exercise their right,” she said. “It’s been 40 years, and people don’t have any answers.”
Earlier this year, the part of the campus where the shooting took place was entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
At the memorial, Dee Logan, a retired teacher and volunteer organizations like Green Peace and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, called for peace.
“Peace needs to happen. People working for peace, living for peace, living in peace, people came together, people still coming together,” she said. “We still want peace. We still want peace now.”
The day, despite the sorrowful connotations, was a moment when people stood up for what they believed in. “It means an end of some innocence [that] happened here,” she added, “It means we need to look at what we know is wrong in the world; we need to fix it.”
She added that the day “absolutely” gives her hope for the future. “As long as there is breath in my body, and as long as we keep getting together here, as long as there’s likes and love,” she added.
With additional reporting by Jack Phillips.