I know that this post is not directly about Coal, but it is about protests, and how we resolve issues. In 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students at Kent State University that were protesting the illegal Vietnam War, and it’s imminent expansion into Cambodia by President Nixon. Four students were killed, and nine wounded. This was a very sad day for me personally, as I was only 12 years old, and trying to figure out what was going on in the world. I watched body counts along with dinner every evening by Walter Cronkite, or Huntley and Brinkley.
What I learned at that young age was that violence is not the answer to any disagreement. Some of the students burned down the ROTC building the night before, endangering lives. The National Guard was completely responsible for murder, as there was no imminent danger that should have been met with deadly force.
Given the sometimes nasty remarks, threats, and real damage that has been done over the issue of Mountain Top Removal policies, I thought this was a good time to ask for respectful dialogue, and mutual respect. The Coal Country movie was made to bring this issue to the forefront of peoples minds, so they could make up their own minds. In respect for the miners killed just about everyday, the local people who die just about everyday, the wildlife, and the future of our planet, I ask that we consider ourselves friends, and treat each other accordingly. Let’s work together to make mines safe, create new forms of clean energy, and bring prosperity to Appalachia, our country, and our world as a whole.
- Jeffrey Glenn Miller; 20, 265 ft (81 m) shot through the mouth – killed instantly
- Allison B. Krause; 19, 343 ft (105 m) fatal left chest wound – died later that day
- William Knox Schroeder; 19, 382 ft (116 m) fatal chest wound – died almost an hour later in hospital while waiting for surgery – not participating in the protest.
- Sandra Lee Scheuer; 20, 390 ft (120 m) fatal neck wound – died a few minutes later from loss of blood – not participating in the protest.
Wounded (and approximate distance from the National Guard):
- Joseph Lewis Jr. 71 ft (22 m); hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
- John R. Cleary 110 ft (34 m); upper left chest wound
- Thomas Mark Grace 225 ft (69 m); struck in left ankle
- Alan Michael Canfora 225 ft (69 m); hit in his right wrist
- Dean R. Kahler 300 ft (91 m); back wound fracturing the vertebrae – permanently paralyzed from the chest down
- Douglas Alan Wrentmore 329 ft (100 m); hit in his right knee
- James Dennis Russell 375 ft (114 m); hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot – both wounds minor (died 2007)
- Robert Follis Stamps 495 ft (151 m); hit in his right buttock (died June 11, 2008)
- Donald Scott MacKenzie 750 ft (230 m); neck wound
Coal Country Website Administrator