Remember the Four Jessalyn Cruz

"Flowers are better than bullets."-Allison Krause

May 4, 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shooting, fifty years since Allison Krause, Sandy Scheuer, William Schroeder, and Jeffrey Miller were taken from this world unexpectedly. The bullets did not only take their lives, they took their legacies. All four students were so much more than a victim. A proposition has been voiced that instead of mourning their deaths, the community should celebrate their lives. Hence the reason why Kent State University should honor their legacies on May 4, 2020 through a day of service to the community. Each volunteer location commemorates the memory of the students and their passion to help others. The current students of Kent State will honor Krause, Scheuer, Schroeder, and Miller's lives and give back to the community like the survivors should have done fifty years ago.

Allison Krause
"Richard Jaworski would ask Allison to speak of her experiences at the hospital. She told the class that the inmates would let her shoot during basketball games...When a boy in class asked if it was not dangerous to work with the patients, she replied, "Love, they sense it. It calms them." The inmates were so grateful for her attention they never considered harm, she said" (Thirteen Seconds 157).

Allison had a special place in her heart for the patients of the St. Elizabeth hospital. She would dedicate her time there quite frequently. She dreamed about combining her love of art and helping children with disabilities. To honor Allison's memory, one of the volunteer options could take place at a hospital, such as the UH Portage Medical Center. Current Kent State students could help organize medical packages or deliver gifts and visit the patients. Volunteering at the local hospital is a way to preserve the memory of Allison while helping out the community.

Sandy Scheuder
"'Sandy had always wanted to help old people, especially those who were paralyzed and had difficulty talking...She studied to be in a position to help people and this was her first concern'" (Thirteen Seconds 180).

The Kentridge Senior Living Center is in need of volunteers like Sandy. Sandy's passion for helping the elderly can continue through the students of Kent State on the service day. If the students take a couple hours out of their day to visit the people living at Kentridge, Sandy's memory will live on, fifty years later. Sandy's dream of helping the elderly through speech can become a reality for some of the students.

William Schroeder
"He was full of love: he loved America, he knew its military history, and he hated war. He had a deep compassion for the poor, the infirm, the [disabled], and the black" (Thirteen Seconds 188).

During one of his college spring breaks, Bill went to Guaymas, Mexico with a missionary. When he witnessed the poverty that surrounded him, he began to question himself and his values in life. A bullet to the back ended his life before he could turn those thoughts into actions. Hence the reason why students should partner with Operation Backpack in William Schroeder's name. Operation Backpack is a global organization that provides a backpack and school supplies for children who are in need of them.

Jeffrey Miller
"He dreamed of a land where there were no poor; where there was no suffering, no hypocrisy, no bigotry, no intolerance; where all men were equal; where freedom meant living life the way you really wanted to live it..." (Thirteen Seconds 209).

The final volunteer option for students would be in remembrance of Jeffrey Miller. As a sophomore in college, Jeffrey had so much to live for, until it was taken away on that fateful spring day. To honor his legacy, current students will have the choice to volunteer at an organization called the Freedom House. This organization is located in the heart of Kent, Ohio and its mission is to serve homeless male veterans. Freedom House is a fourteen-bed transitional housing facility that is in need of volunteers. It is a way to respect the veterans of the United States, like what should have happened fifty years ago.

Allow the 2020 students of Kent State to be on the right side of history. Instead of mourning the loss of the four students, grant the current students the privilege to celebrate the life of Allison, Sandy, Bill, and Jeff by going out and serving their community. These four students died in a broken community, but their legacies can live on in a united community fifty years later.


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