Kent State University canceled its May 4 50th Commemoration Weekend events, scheduled from May 1 to 4, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and is instead opting for a virtual program.
The May 4 Commemoration virtual program is under development and details are to be announced, the university said in a March 23 news release. The program will honor and remember Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder who were killed and nine other Kent State students who were wounded on May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest.
“This action comes as a great disappointment to so many who have looked forward to this milestone weekend and who have worked tirelessly to make this event happen,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon in the release. “However, the health, safety and well-being of everyone is our first priority.”
The university is requesting visitors reschedule any plans and visit the May 4 National Historic Landmark site only after the national public health emergency has passed and the university has resumed on-campus operations.
Diacon said planning the commemoration provided a foundation for future commemorations and ongoing educational efforts. He cited for the first time, Kent State administrators, students, faculty and May 4 survivors and family members, “united around a commitment to jointly plan a commemoration,” when groups were previously divided on May 4 issues.
“It personifies a spirit of unity and reconciliation that has become an integral part of the history and legacy of the Kent State shootings,” the release continued.
For information on the virtual commemoration, visit kent.edu/may4kentstate50.