Since my last post, Alec Presley, Kelly Teel, and I had an interview by phone in the Olin Library with a surviving Kent State student, Alan Canfora. He was wounded in the incident. Canfora presented a different view of the incident then looking at newspapers and secondary sources. It was very helpful and I appreciate it that Alec let Kelly and I join.
In the interview, he had compared the Iraq War to Vietnam and explained what the legacy he wants people to take away from the shooting. There was something that Canfora said that put the American soldier deaths in perspective for me. He had said, “It took 10 years in the Iraq War to lose what was lost in months in Vietnam.” It made me put in perspective how truly extreme the violence in Vietnam was. After such a longer time of so many men being killed in a questionable war, it makes sense that the protests would have grown more extreme.
Comparing the Kent State shooting to the War on Terror, Canfora responded “The worst enemy was Communism. We were taught to fear and hate Russians during the Cold War. Same thing is true now but replaced with terrorists and Muslims…” Both War in Iraq and Vietnam were controversial. Canfora does prove that he is not against the military or war, just questionable or unjustifiable wars. In the interview, he said that he supported the war in Afghanistan but Iraq was similar to Vietnam and questionable. “It’s different terminology but the same thing”.