5 May 1970: Thousands of University of Washington students
occupying and blocking Intersate Highway 5 (I-5) and facing state troopers in
riot gear as they protested the killings of 4 students by the national guard at Kent State University and the
invasion of Cambodia.
Posters relating to the murder of four Kent State students by national guardsman at an anti-war protest on May 4, 1970. Another 30 students were wounded, one of whom was paralyzed for life after the troops opened fire on the large crowd of youths on the campus.
The killings followed days of protest around the campus and
the country after the Nixon administration launched the invasion of Cambodia.
More protests and heavy riots swept through numerous American cities
in the week following the murder of the students.
On May 15, 1970 police killed another two
students and wounded 12 more at Jackson State University during a riotous protest.
Today marks the end of one of the most interesting chapters of my life thus far. After nine years, I am no longer enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard. From the beginning, I ventured into a world that I never thought I’d be a part of, traveled to places I never imagined I’d visit, and met people I’ve never even dreamed of meeting. It wasn’t always perfect, it certainly wasn’t always easy, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t an experience.
You’re not supposed to celebrate Memorial Day, you’re supposed to observe it. It is a day to pay respect to and memorialize our service men and women who have died, not party it up. Sure, gather with family, cook out, shoot off fireworks, they fought for us to be able to do that, but don’t forget the real reason you’re off of work or school on Monday (Unless you work) - to remember and reflect. There shouldn’t be sales or parties, but gatherings and community. If you wouldn’t do it to mark the anniversary of 11 September 2001, you probably shouldn’t do it on Memorial Day. So let’s stop saying ‘Happy Memorial Day!’ and instead wish each other peace and safety, and we can celebrate our asses off for good ol’ ‘Murica another day, perhaps the 4th of July? Have a safe Memorial Day weekend, thank you to all of those who serve and have served this country honourably, and may those who gave the ultimate sacrifice rest peacefully. Godspeed.