Monday, April 29, 2013

Images of Peace Against the Backdrop of Adversity: Commemorating the Kent State shootings.

U.S. Soldier in Vietnam, Photograph by Bettman/CORBIS

“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

On a quiet afternoon, in a small Ohio college town, students gathered upon a grassy knoll to protest President Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia.

The protest began peacefully at 12:00 noon, and marked by the sounding of the campus "Victory" bell. 

As that first speaker slowly approached the podium, that's when all hell began to break out. Ohio's National Guard was ordered to 'keep the peace' no matter what, and by whatever means possible.

March on Washington 17 April 1965
And, into this gathering wanting most to have peace—in just 13 short seconds, 67 rounds were shot out into the crowd.

Four people died on that day—holding open this space for peace and compassion.

I can think of no other way to honor their memory—then to do our vert best to continue what they once started.

Namaste, and peace, my most beautiful friends—may all that we do be infused with compassion's spirit.

Bonus Poem: AMAZING PEACE  by Maya Angelou

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft.   Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound.
We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war.   But true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, and comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace.  We look at each other, then into ourselves,
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation:
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.