Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kent State - 1970

On the night of May 2nd, 1970 demonstrators had burned down the ROTC building on the Kent State Campus. This led to the National Guard being called in to preserve order. What happened on Monday, May 4th, 1970 did little to restore that order. Instead, it locked both sides into a struggle that would cleave our nation into 2 halves for decades.

Extremism begets extremism. History is filled with examples. We are living through some dangerous and fractious times right now. The most important thing to remember is that any position, when taken too far, will always lead to the same thing, disaster.

The Vietnam era was a volatile time in our nation's history. Families were split along political lines. Friendships were formed and broken over the issue of the Vietnam War. We became a nation divided by our politics, rather than a nation united by our political system. And we have remained so. And the people at the top want it that way. It's the only way that they can continue to run the show the way they see fit.

In memory of Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandy Scheuer and William Schroeder; 4 young people; caught up in a sea of rhetoric, going too far and coming face to face with another group, equally caught up in their own rhetoric. When each side is so right; when each side claims the high ground; where do the little people go? When both sides cling so tightly to their beliefs, that they are willing to burn; or kill; those who are in opposition, then it is time to step back and re-examine the cause and its worth.

Today, on the 43rd anniversary of this tragic event, I hope that we will all take the opportunity to look inside of ourselves and our respective political positions. And in tribute to these 4 young Americans, let's all take a step back from the edge of division and look to re-unite ourselves as a nation. I really think that is what these 4 victims would have wanted us to learn.

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