** The video above shows last year’s coverage of the 50th anniversary of May 4 which was virtual due to pandemic guidelines **
KENT, Ohio (WJW) – Kent State University announced their plans to gather virtually in remembering the 51st Anniversary of May 4, 1970, the day the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest, killing four students and wounding nine other students.
Hosted by Kent State students, faculty and staff, the event is scheduled from April 30 through May 4 with a special video tribute premiering the last day that will focus on the nine wounded students: Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Thomas Grace, Dean Kahler, Joseph Lewis, Donald Mackenzie, James Russell, Robert Stamps and Douglas Wrentmore, according to a release from Kent State.
The release says the video features nine new markers placed on the May 4 site, marking where each wounded student was located when hit by gunfire, joining the four markers installed in 1999 in remembrance of Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, the four students killed that day.
Roseann “Chic” Canfora, Ph.D., a May 4 witness whose brother, Alan, was one of the nine wounded students, also expressed the importance of the new markers.
“One of the residual effects of being a shooting survivor is the re-emergence of the sights, sounds and memories of our traumatic experience when we gather for vigils or memorials,” Canfora said. “Our annual commemorations on May 4 have served as a path to healing for many of us, and milestone markers on the shooting site have enabled us to set in stone and to manage the heartbreak we will carry for a lifetime.”
The virtual commemoration will also remember 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.
“This year will be the most difficult for me personally, and I imagine it will be for Tom Grace and many others, because it will be our first commemoration without Alan,” Canfora said. “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.”