May 4, 1970—The Saddest Day of My Life (Soon to Be Followed by Many More)
Today is the 45th anniversary of the Kent State University killings. I was a junior psychology major then, working my way through school. My brother was in the Navy, serving in country in Vietnam when Nixon illegally invaded Cambodia after promising the American people that we were ending the war.
The ensuing anti-war marches and riots were sparked by his betrayal of trust. I still believe that Nixon was the first president in history who despised the American people he was supposed to serve. I also blame him and Ohio Governor Rhodes for the Kent State massacre. Many of us who were there at Kent State that day were changed forever. I still cry when I remember the events at the university and the students murdered that terrible, terrible day. I knew a couple of them. Even the FBI agent who questioned me confirmed that the guard should not have fired their weapons.
The grand jury, made up of people from the town of Kent (who prospered from students and faculty who spent money in the town, yet hated and feared the academic community), refused to indict any member of the National Guard. Sworn testimony indicated that no officer gave a command to fire, yet most of the men fired over and over, despite the fact that they were in no danger from the unarmed students gathered peaceably for an anti-war demonstration. Films made at the time show clearly how far we students were from the guards. A few kids did throw back tear-gas canisters and some rocks. But 99% of us were trying to get away from armed men intent on punishing us for exercising our constitutional rights. It was a day of shame and butchery.
You can read my story of those events and their aftermath here: Use It or Lose It