The events that occurred on October 21, 1967 started at the Lincoln Memorial. Many protests are youth predominated, but at this protest there were lawyers, accountants, teachers, housewives, and veteran political organizers. As the protest neared the Pentagon, bloody faces and missing teeth started to show. Several hundred young militants tore off through the Virginia woods towards the Pentagon. A fence was torn down so people could get closer to the Pentagon. There was a potential for hundreds of people to be killed that day at the Pentagon. It would have been easy to be trampled to death in panic.
Protesters were testing the Pentagon’s defenses at every point they could. The result was often bloodshed and arrest. Jan Rose Kasmir was not the only person with flowers that day at the Pentagon. A protester from Berkley walked along a line of soldiers placing flowers in their rifle barrels. In protest, another couple decided to make love in front of U.S. marshals and troops. After they were done, they tried to shake hands with the marshals. There were other sexually engaged protesters that day, they screamed, “We would rather fuck than fight” towards the troops.
Officials inside the Pentagon looked out their office windows to a sight they did not like. Multiple officials inside the Pentagon realized there was a personal element with the mob just outside their window. Many of these officials had family members who were apart of this protest just outside their window.
The photograph of Jan Rose Kasmir almost makes the protest to seem peaceful. Which it clearly was not peaceful at all. Over 600 people were arrested at this protest. The photograph proves to show that even in some of the most hostile moments, a small gesture can be made, influencing the lives of people all around the world.
Sources: The War Within America’s Battle over Vietnam