KENT, Ohio (WKBN) – Kent State University announced Monday the cancellation of their 50th Commemoration Weekend events, scheduled to take place May 1 through May 4.
In a release, they said it was in accordance with the order of Dr. Amy Acton, director of Ohio Department of Health, to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, and in the interest of the health and safety of the community.
A virtual May 4 Commemoration program is under development and details will be announced at a later time.
This online program will honor and remember Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder who were killed and nine other Kent State students who were wounded on May 4, 1970, when the Ohio National Guard fired on students during an anti-war protest.
“This action comes as a great disappointment to so many who have looked forward to this milestone weekend and who have worked tirelessly to make this event happen,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “However, the health, safety and well-being of everyone is our first priority.”
Diacon noted that the planning process itself has provided a firm foundation for future commemorations and ongoing educational efforts.
For the first time, Kent State administrators, students and faculty, along with May 4 survivors and family members, united around a commitment to jointly plan a commemoration.
The collaboration of groups previously divided on May 4 issues personifies a spirit of unity and reconciliation that has become an integral part of the history and legacy of the Kent State shootings.
The university urges members of the public to follow travel restrictions and other measures adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during this crucial time. Therefore, for the safety of all, and to comply with restrictions on public gatherings indoors and outdoors, the university asks visitors to reschedule their plans, visiting the May 4 National Historic Landmark site only after the national public health emergency has passed and the university has resumed on-campus operations.
Refunds for the May 4 50th Commemoration Benefit Concert featuring Joe Walsh and David Crosby and the luncheon featuring historian Eric Foner have been processed.
For up-to-date information regarding the virtual commemoration, please visit www.kent.edu/may4kentstate50.