In this iconic photo, a Kent State student mourns the shooting and death of a fellow student in 1970.
By Michael Lewis
It’s funny how we remember some of the most tumultuous things in our life although we can’t remember what we ate for lunch today or yesterday. We remember where we were for assassinations, 911 and other great tragedies.
When I was a senior at W. Tresper Clarke High School in Westbury, N.Y. one early May many years ago, the teachers from the East Meadow School District were considering going on strike.
Having a real good case of senioritis, myself and two friends — Doug Reich and John Hunter — decided to play hooky. If the teachers were going to strike, we were going to go fishing.
So, Doug picked us up pretty early that Monday and we listened to the radio for the latest updates on the strike. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t good news. The teachers decided not to strike. John then said, “I didn’t hear anything, did you?”
We had made up our minds. We decided to skip school and went to Point Lookout on Long Island for catch some flounder.
I am happy to report that I actually caught my first fish (actually, my second fish, but that occurred several weeks earlier but Doug made me throw it back because it was too small). This fish I was allowed to keep.
I got home and there was something from the DMV in the mail. I opened it and the news was good, very good — I had passed my driving test.
I was ecstatic. I played hooky from school, caught a fish (and was allowed to keep it) and discovered that I passed my driver’s test. Life doesn’t better than that on a school day.
Or does it?
I called up Doug to tell him the good news. He told me that he couldn’t believe that the Ohio National Guard would shoot students on a college campus. He was referring to Kent State University, where four students were shot and killed that day.
Yes, today — Monday, May 4 — is the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings.
Fifty years ago!
I certainly will never forget May 4, 1970 — for many reasons — especially what transpired in Kent, Ohio.
I will let more eloquent writers espouse about what the events meant to them, their families and friends and the United States of America.
Me? I just want to make there are some moments in the past that should not be forgotten. I would love to hear from anyone — soccer fan or not — who has his or her own memories of May 4 some 50 years ago.