Voices from yesterday's May 4 commemoration ceremony
Laura Cordle, Rebecca Micco, Anthony Holloway
Issue date: 5/5/09
'Allison thought that the actions of the U.S. government were wrong.'
Before the riots all began, Allison Krause called her parents to warn
them of the riots. Laurel Krause, Allison's younger sister, said they
told Allison to be cautious and asked her to back out of the
protests, though her ideals pushed her to continue.
Allison was killed during the 13 seconds of shooting, by dum dum
bullets, which during this time were illegal in warfare. She died in
her boyfriend Barry's arms.
"She was murdered by the Ohio National Guard," Krause said.
Allison was a freshman Honors student, who was a firm activist in
what she thought was right.
"Allison thought the actions of the U.S. government were wrong," Krause said.
Krause remembered how inspired and driven Allison was by her truths.
After the actions of May 4,1970, Allison's parents decided to follow
their truths and went to court; their case went all the way to the
Supreme Court where the government issued a statement of regret.
"Allison spoke, participated in and died for what she believed in,"
Krause said. "She inspired me to believe that the world can be
changed by one person, just like you and me."
- Laura Cordle
'There are plenty of reasons to weep, but we won't get anything done.'
In his first visit to Kent State, Lawrence "Pun" Plamondon, a Native
American activist and co-founder of the White Panther Party, said he
wept at the candle light vigil Sunday night in the Prentice parking lot.
"There are plenty of reasons to weep, but we won't get anything
done," Plamondon said. "I wept in a way because I couldn't stop this."
He said the people who made a difference during the 1960s and '70s
were the ones who refused to be drafted.
"Middle class boys stood up and stood on principles," he said.
Plamondon also spoke about his indictment on the charges of bombing a
CIA office in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sept. 29, 1968. He said after
learning of the charges, he fled to Canada and eventually to Algeria.
He came back to the United States in May 1969 and police arrested him.
During his Supreme Court trial, he said government officials admitted
to wiretapping him without a warrant, which led to the dismissal of his case.
The court that tried Plamondon made its decision on June 17, 1972,
the same day the Watergate break-in occurred. He said the break-in
occurred because people from the Nixon administration were retrieving
(then-considered) illegal wiretaps in the Democratic Party's National
He said he doesn't admit to bombing or not bombing, but the person
who did set forth the action of bringing down Nixon.
- Anthony Holloway
'For 25 years I avoided Mary Ann because I thought I had ruined her life.'
John Filo was a senior photojournalism major at Kent State University
when the events of May 4, 1970 occurred. His picture of the screaming
girl, Mary Ann Vecchio, standing over the dead body of Jeffrey Miller
has won a Pulitzer Prize and recognition throughout the world.
Filo spoke yesterday at the May 4 commemoration. It was the first
time since the shooting that Vecchio and Filo were on campus together.
"For 25 years I avoided talking to Mary Ann because I thought I had
ruined her life." Filo said.
Filo was working on his senior portfolio all weekend and had missed
the events leading up to that Monday's protests. He said he was
disappointed. When he told his professors this, they told him to
leave to take pictures for only an hour and come back with two
different perspectives of the day. Instead, he captured a photo that
changed the perspective of the entire world.
After the shooting took place, Filo remembered having feelings of
relief that he was lucky enough not to have been shot.
Filo said he saw an Ohio National Guardsman point a rifle at him.
"I thought they were blanks," Filo said of the bullets.
He remembered the overwhelming feeling of helplessness and called the
shootings an "execution without a trial."
"Sometimes there is no help, but there is always hope," Filo said.
- Rebecca Micco
'I have a chance to go out there and save peoples' lives. I couldn't
do anything that day.'
Sun shone down on the people covering the field and hillside where
students stood 39 years ago in the presence of the Ohio National
Guard. Mary Ann Vecchio, the subject of John Filo's Pulitzer Prize
photo of May 4, 1970, walked up the ramp, passing Filo as he walked
back to his seat after leaving the podium.
"This is the milestone," Vecchio said.
Vecchio said reflection on the events of May 4 is clearer every year
she comes back.
She said the late '60s and early '70s were a crossroad for students
and parents of the time because their beliefs clashed, pitting them
against one another with the government influencing the parents' beliefs.
Vecchio, who was a 14-year-old runaway at the time of the shootings,
said neither the parents nor the students were wrong in their beliefs.
She said it was now time for healing to begin, and she called for
President Lester Lefton, congressmen and President Barack Obama to
come mend the wounds of May 4, 1970, by attending next year's 40th
Vecchio said after May 4, she turned her life around by going back to
school and getting her GED. She returned to school to become a
massage therapist, and later went on to become a respiratory therapist.
"I have a chance to go out there and save peoples' lives," Vecchio
said. "I couldn't do anything that day."
- Anthony Holloway
Photographer reunites with 'anguished girl' at Kent State
by Doug Stanglin
May 05, 2009
The woman whose look of anguish became a symbol of the Kent State
killings was reunited on the campus for the first time in 39 years
with the photographer who won a Pulitzer Prize for taking her picture.
The Akron Beacon Journal says the last time John Filo saw Mary
Vecchio on the campus was through the lens of his camera as he took
his historic picture on May 4, 1970, after the shootings on campus
that left four dead and nine wounded.
They spoke at the 39th commemoration of the May 4 shootings that
occurred during an anti-Vietnam War protest.
Filo, who was a photojournalism major in 1970, is now photography
director for CBS in New York. Vecchio, then a 14-year-old runaway
from Florida, is a respiratory therapist in Florida, the newspaper reports.
''I thought I had ruined her life,'' said Filo. ''It took me 25 years
before I could talk to her.''
''I have a much better appreciation today for my place in history,''
Vecchio said. ''Years go by, and I am much better able to reflect
more clearly on what happened."
''And all of us who were there that day still feel committed and will
be until we pass," she said. "It's something that will be with us the
rest of our lives.''
Filo said he had been "extremely depressed" over missing the first
days of the big news event and was trying to play catch-up when shots
rang out, the Beacon Journal writes. The award-winning photo of
Vecchio kneeling with her arms raised in shock and screaming above
the body of a student was "a reaction shot."
''The thing I remember the most is the feeling of total
helplessness,'' Filo said. ''It's the same helplessness I feel at
times now later in life."