May 4th. It is a sad day in American history. It is a distasteful memory and inimical to the liberty for which we stand. However, there are profound lessons in the remembering.
1970 Kent State, a college in Ohio. It was a time of volatile tension and confrontation in this country over our involvement in Vietnam. It was a moment of regrettable action in our history. Four young lives were lost when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of anti-war protesters.
Dissent, through the right of assembly, is a guaranteed freedom of our constitution, but on that day frazzled nerves and ambient fear prevailed, and tragic mistakes happened.
Democracy, for those who practice it and for those who seek it, can sometimes be painful in its quest for fulfillment.
Russia knows it.
Lithuania knows it.
Poland knows it.
Hungary knows it.
The students of China’s Tiananmen Square know it, and Kent State knows it.
Perhaps proof that the four students did not die in vain is the fact that America remembers a terrible event in the continuing expression of freedom and demand that it never happen again.