Monday, March 06, 2006
Where were you?
May 4, 1970.
I would have ordinarily saved this for the actual date, but since we Willows are challenging our blogging skills, and this was the topic...
Many of you who read my blog weren't even born then! So it's hard for me to express to you the impact, the emotion, this had on those of us who were directly or indirectly involved. When I look back, I always think, "I should have been there!". And indeed I would have been, had I still been in school. But I had graduation the August prior and I was teaching high school English on that day. I remember hearing the news. I remember having to pretend not to care. (It wasn't acceptable back then for a teacher to be so liberal, or radical as they referred to it.) However, I couldn't help it as the days wore on and 2 of our student teachers were let go because they had taken the day off to go to the protest. I couldn't stand the fact that their whole lives could have changed for the worse...and a lot of the high school students were feeling the same. So they staged a sit-in. Administrators threatened expulsion and anything they could think of to get the students back to class. I told them they couldn't expel or arrest them all. I told them to do what they felt was right. Stay if they truly believed what was going on was wrong, immoral. But if they were just there to get out of class, go back.
One month later, my contract for teaching the next year was not renewed and my teaching certificate was in danger of being revoked. But that's all a story for another time.
I started out to tell the story of that day, why they protested, what led up to it, how we felt about the war and the Nixonian "just peace". In searching for that infamous picture, I came upon this story. He was there and tells it so much more eloquently than I. Read it and weep, if not for the politics, for those young lives.
The story of May 4, 1970.