Monday, May 4, 2015

Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming

Forty-five years is a long time, or in this case, a long time ago.

We were a different country from the one we are now though in some ways-the questioning, the wondering aloud, the beliefs that there are other ways to do things and to be- are now as they were then.

In the last weeks we've seen violence and dissent but forty-five years ago we saw violence in response to dissent as part of a larger argument we were having with another about an unpopular war very far away, who was being drafted to fight in it and what was to become of all of those who came home from it.

Despite the shouting of so many voices, no one had the answers but all insisted on the right to continue speaking. That's pretty easy to see now, nearly a half century later but was too hard to see at that time. I was in the spring semester of my freshman year at Rutgers College, Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Jackson State in Mississippi and Kent State in Ohio could just as easily have been on the moon or around the corner.

No matter the distance, it didn't help answer the two unanswerable questions we grew to dread until we stopped growing at all. "What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground? How can you run when you know?" Perhaps on the day we stop running we can essay an answer.


-bill kenny

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