As Rufus and I took our walk on this lovely morning in early May, I began to wonder how different our quiet, tree-lined neighborhood in this small Midwestern college town looked 40 years ago. I decided probably not all that different. Oh, I'm sure the houses were painted different colors, and the cars parked on the streets were gas guzzlers instead of sleek SUVs. The trees had not grown as tall as they are today, I suppose, and different shrubs probably bloomed just as brilliantly in the lawns. All in all, though, this little neighborhood in Kent, Ohio hasn't really changed much.
Neither, it seems, has the attitude of some people towards the Kent State students who were killed or wounded 40 years ago today on their own college campus. I only had to look as far as this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer to be reminded of that. Let me share some comments with you.
"The students didn't ever take enough of the blame. Instead of being in class learning like they were suposed to be doing they were outside throwing rocks at people with guns. Should have learned way before college to not antagonize people with guns. Doesn't seem like they were college material."
"Geeze, these hippies won't give it up already. Let's just appease them and turn the entire campus into a memorial. Then let's make every day May 4th. They make it hard to feel bad for them."
"Townspeople huddled in their basements with their young children in the nights preceding May 4th."
And my personal favorite:
"The students who were protesting are a bunch of current left-wing nuts who probably voted for the racist president we now are stuck with."
I guess I thought that all these ignorant, hate-filled people would have died off by now, but I see that is not the case. Eh, to quote some more song lyrics, only the good die young.