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View Diary: "They Just Started Shooting Us Down" -- Kent State (305 comments)

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  •  A correction (15+ / 0-)

    They did not let us leave town that night, in fact they set up road blocks and instituted martial law. The people I knew didn't even try to get permission to get through. I got separated from boyfriend and caught a ride home with a woman I knew. She was older and frightened to be seen with a student, thus I had to lay down on the floor in the back.

    Also, all of the phones were down for 24 hours either by overload or design. Who knows.

    As for the order being given.

    Another possible explanation - that an order to fire was given - has consistently been denied by Guard officers. No evidence exists to refute this nor does any evidence support the idea that the guardsmen fired out of panic.

    Well,that morning the man I lived with had just been to the photo studios to develop some film. Thus his camera was freshly loaded as he stood at the top of blanket hill. In quick succession he photographed the order being given to fire. You can see the troops turn, kneel, the man's arm raised and go down. Then of course, the guns being fired.

    At that point we ran.

    When I finally got home to Brady Lake, my neighbors were all on their porches with guns pointed at the two houses occupied by students. There were other pictures taken that day and sent out processing. The people received back pictures of unknown people at birthday parties etc.

    As for the pictures my man had taken, here is what happened. When the roadblock was lifted we smuggled the roll of film out of town. They were hidden in his mother's freezer. Ha! Eventually they would be deveoped. The choice not to release them was his. But I agree, considering the monkey-trial that went on, they would never be seen again. Maybe today...not then.

    The FBI sorta knew that we had them...he must have been spotted with his camera and armed with a mighty telephoto. They scoured my neighborhood looking for the "man in the yellow shirt." Shit, he didn't wear  that shirt again for years.

    Lessons learned: they have all the guns that matter.

    ps The story of what happened after Jeff was killed is interesting. Have you talked to his roommate Steve?

    •  can you contact me by private email? (5+ / 0-)

      Donna -- I would really like to "talk" with you privately. My email is in my profile. (Hi, Homeland Security!!)

      I know about Elaine's phone call getting through to Jeff's house -- and how odd that is -- if that's what you mean about "what happened after Jeff was killed." But I'd be very interested in knowing more. Anything more about Jeff, always.....

      Also, I talked to a person who worked at the Kodak processing lab in Findlay, OH on May 4. They did something like 80% of the processing in the US at that point and he told me that they were given instructions that any photos that came in that looked REMOTELY like they had anything to do with Kent were to be turned over to the office. He always assumed they went to the FBI.

      I think, clearly, there had to be a signal or a decision. Otherwise, it's impossible that all those guys could have pivoted and fired. I've always suspected that a signal doesn't show in photos because there are no photos (we've seen) from in front of the guard.

      Anyway, please, please send me a private email. And thanks for your correction. I will remember it in the future.

      We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

      by kainah on Wed May 03, 2006 at 05:33:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The whole of your post (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, trashablanca

      is amazing.

      This part

      When I finally got home to Brady Lake, my neighbors were all on their porches with guns pointed at the two houses occupied by students.

      is stunning.

      WHAT? Adult became afraid of students? Guns?

      Just life changing. As much as people hated the war or the government the world must have just changed that day for those around there that day.
      It changed for everyone who heard the story, saw the picture, but for those who were around the situation where lives were ended that way. Can't imagine.

      But it's all the worse that instincts of adults to point guns rather than console the students.

      •  A girl and WWII hero (8+ / 0-)

        I was downtown near the corner of Main and Water when a girl with long dark hair and blood on her shirt came running down the hill from school. She was yelling: "they just killed my friend." A guy in a white shirt and tie came out of the bank where he worked as the girl was tearing down the flag that hung near the door. He just decked her. Slugged her right in the face.

        I heard lots of "townies" saying: they should have killed more of them.

        A man named Dick Myers who taught film at the school made a great film about May 4th. IIRC, he has plenty of this in the movie.

        We lied to Michner.

        •  As I read your (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AllisonInSeattle

          subject line and the start of the story I thought it would go another way. I inagined him helping her, hugging her...

          They should have killed more? I see quotes from right wingers today that are so horrible and I can't understand. But I guess it is not new.

          Even if I were an adult who liked the war and loved Nixon, a sacred, grieving young face would stir my heart and I am not unusually kind. I have to think that they were unusually cruel.

          Thank you for telling me about the movie.

          I send retroactive hugs to all the broken hearted kids.

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