Monday, February 8, 2010

* Keeping the Flame Alive for History

Lighting the four flames on the Granville-Jackson Sculpture "The Kent Four" at Kent State, 1973



"The Kent Four" a sculpture by Alastair Granville-Hicks, dedicated at Kent State in 1973. If it still exists, it certainly belongs with the planned information Center.

Satisfied, At Last
( 1970 - 2010 )

Mr. Alan Canfora
Ms. Cara Gilgenbach
Mr. Larry Dowler
Ms. Christine Weideman

Dear Alan, Cara, Larry and Christine:

I have just received the Kent State publication "KENT STATE 100". To my surprise there is a two full page article inside announcing the information center and tour about to be mounted in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the shootings, similar to the Gettysburg National Parks exhibits.

The article promises a tour and information dissemination which represent "diverse perspectives".

Although it gets off to a limp start by referring to the site where four students "lost their lives", (as if some neutral event had caused them to evaporate from the earth, not a violent confrontation between armed and unarmed young people), I believe the information center, tour and promise of "diverse perspectives" finally lives up to the historic significance of the events after decades of Kent State engaging in benign neglect and intransigent equivocation about the May 4, 1970 murders of four unarmed Kent State students by Ohio National Guardsmen. (Have they ever even apologized to the parents?)

It is what I had hoped would be accomplished when I proposed and achieved creation of the May 4th Room in the Kritzer Library in the early 70's, but which did not live up to my hopes over the years. It is what I sought to achieve by co-founding The Kent State Collection at Yale's Manuscripts and Archives Division at Sterling Memorial Library in the late 70's.

When I attended The Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College for five summers from 1998-2003 , one historian told me when I betrayed frustration over my failures in these Kent State efforts : "It takes forty years after an event before a historian can even begin to do his/her work."

I wish Kent State well. I am at last satisfied.

May historians now begin their work, right on schedule.


Paul D. Keane, M.A., M.Div., M.Ed.


Mr. Greg Rambo
Mr. Jerry Lewis
Mr. Sanford Jay Rosen
Mr. J. Gregory Payne

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