Kent State to hold virtual vigil, commemoration on 51st anniversary of May 4 shootings

Kent State to hold virtual vigil, commemoration on 51st anniversary of May 4 shootings
Kent State May 4 state historical marker.

KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - Kent State University is holding virtual events Tuesday to mark 51 years since the Ohio National Guard killed four students and injured nine others during an anti-war protest.

At noon, the university is premiering a video that commemorates the nine students who were hurt when soldiers opened fire in 1970. The video will highlight the new markers installed on the May 4 site on campus, one for each of the wounded students. The nine markers are in addition to the four markers, installed in 1999, that remember the four students who were killed.

The nine students wounded on May 4 are Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Thomas Grace, Dean Kahler, Joseph Lewis, Donald Mackenzie, James Russell, Robert Stamps and Douglas Wrentmore.

The commemoration will also remember the life of Canfora, who died in December 2020 at the age of 71. Canfora spent 50 years speaking about the May 4 tragedy; a scholarship has been created in his name to benefit Kent State students.

Kent State will also hold a virtual candlelight vigil on social media. The university encourages people to post a picture of a lit candle, or of themselves holding a lit candle, with #KentStateMay4.

In addition to the commemoration and vigil, the university is bringing in speakers, virtually, who will lead discussions on the legacy and impact of the May 4 shootings. Topics range from peaceful techniques to use in response to hateful rhetoric, to the impact that student activism has. Click here to view a full schedule of events.

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