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Kent State marks 51st commemoration of May 4, 1970 with virtual programming

04.27.21 Photo of Alan Canfora and Thomas Grace.jpg
Posted at 10:03 AM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 10:03:21-04

KENT, Ohio — Kent State University marks the 51st commemoration of May 4, 1970, the day the Ohio National Guard fired at students during an anti-war protest, killing four students and wounding nine others, with virtual events due to the pandemic.

The university will hold virtual programming from April 30 to May 4 and will feature virtual screenings of “Fire in the Heartland: Kent State, May 4 and Student Protest in America,” a panel discussion with guest speakers PeaceJam, keynote speaker and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum and a presentation from student leaders of the May 4 task force.

There will be a special tribute video premiering at noon Tuesday, May 4 on the May 4 51st Commemoration site. The video will focus on the nine wounded students. Nine new markers have been installed indicating where each wounded student was located when hit by gunfire.

“Today we unveil markers for students wounded on May 4, 1970,” Kent State President Todd Diacon said. “These markers represent the latest addition to the National Historic Landmark site and provide greater insight to the events that happened on May 4, 1970.”

Roseann “Chic” Canfora, Ph.D., a May 4 witness, also expressed the importance of the new markers.

“One of the residual effects of being a shooting survivor is the re-emergence of the sights, sounds and memories of our traumatic experience when we gather for vigils or memorials,” said Canfora, whose brother Alan was one of the nine wounded students. “Our annual commemorations on May 4 have served as a path to healing for many of us, and milestone markers on the shooting site have enabled us to set in stone and to manage the heartbreak we will carry for a lifetime.”

The university will also honor the tradition of the May 4 Candlelight Walk. This will take place virtually.

For a full list of events, click here.

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