Kent State Essay

Kent State Essay

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Kent State


In 1970 the nation was in its highest state of controversy. The generation gap that had begun to form in the sixties was now more of a ravine. The youth of America was finally standing up and raising their voices in protest against all the problems that plagued the country they would have control of in years to come. There were many events that helped in feeding the flame in the hearts of Americans. One such event was the Kent State University incident. It is an event that touched the nation and made such a profound mark, and yet it only lasted for thirteen seconds. In the thirteen seconds the Ohio National Guard, along with the rest of government by association, established themselves as the new enemy. All eyes were on them, scrutinizing their every move, pointing out every mistake they made. Interestingly enough, most don’t even really know exactly what went on in those thirteen seconds, but they knew that it left four students dead and nine injured at the hand of the National Guard, so that was enough to strike the hearts on millions. Still today, twenty-nine years later, we still don’t really know what went on. Who fired the first shot, and were they provoked? Was it necessary for the National Guard to be present on this typically calm college campus in the first place? And why did it have to end in such tragedy? There are so many questions, and so many misconceptions about this incident, and like any controversial issue, there are always two sides to the story.

Before choosing sides one must always look at the facts. The most important fact to know about the situation at Kent State University is that in the days before the shootings, the campus was anything but calm. It all began on Thursday, April 30,...


... middle of paper ...


...nd nobody has been to this.

In all of the books, magazine articles, and web pages dedicated to this subject, it is impossible to find an unbiased one. I have to admit that I did go into my research in favor of the students, but the more I read of the situation on campus in the days prior to the shooting, the more I found myself asking “How I would I have handled a situation like that if I had been a member of the Guard?” I can only conclude that there is no right answer to that. There are so many questions, and so many misconceptions about this incident, and like any controversial issue, there are always two sides to the story. Now that I have thoroughly studied both sides to the story, I still have no idea who I think was in the wrong. There are simply too many unanswerable wholes in the stories from both sides that now I can’t say I’m for or against either one.

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