Kent State commemorates 51st anniversary of May 4, 1970 shooting with virtual tribute


** Watch: Kent State University’s 2021 Virtual Commemoration **

KENT, Ohio (WJW) — Kent State gathered online today to commemorate the 51st anniversary of May 4, 1970 when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on Kent State students during a war protest killing four of them and wounding nine others.

The video above that premiered today on Kent State’s 51st Commemoration site focuses on the nine wounded students: Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Thomas Grace, Dean Kahler, Joseph Lewis, Donald Mackenzie, James Russell, Robert Stamps and Douglas Wrentmore.

The video shows where nine new markers were installed on the May 4 site where each of the wounded students was located when hit by gunfire, their name and their distance from the Ohio National Guard.

These new markers join the existing four markers placed in 1999 in remembrance of the four students killed that day: Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder.

Thomas M. Grace, Ph.D., who was wounded that day, says the markers connect people with Kent’s most important day and it’s worst 13 seconds.

“Marking locations will help not only to preserve the history of that vitally important day but also to invoke a sense of place so people can visit there and try to imagine the horror of those moments,” he Grace said.

The virtual tribute honors Alan Canfora, who died in December 2020 at the age of 71 and was the primary voice of May 4, never allowing the shootings and the four killed to be forgotten, according to the university.

“More than anyone, my brother made sure we gathered every year to commemorate and educate the world about May 4. He embodied and modeled for us the strength it takes to turn our pain into purpose,” said Roseann ‘Chic’ Canfora, Alan’s sister.

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