An Ongoing Legacy
Since 1971, the SUNY Plattsburgh community has gathered every May to commemorate the events of Kent State and Jackson State. A spruce tree and plaque outside of the Kehoe Administration Building serve as a permanent remembrance to the students killed and injured, and to those whose lives were forever altered by the events of those dark days.
While much of the antiwar protest work accomplished at Plattsburgh State over the course of a decade has not left a visible trace, the permanent memorial and yearly commemorations serve as a window into a tumultuous time in the country, and how it was experienced on the campus. They serve as a reflection on the solidarity forged between students, faculty, and the community when they came together seeking to bring about an end to a war they felt defied justice, decency, and the spirit of the American people. They persisted in this objective even in the face of great adversity and condemnation.
The Vietnam War created mass social and political upheaval and caused permanent ecological devastation and destruction. It claimed the lives of over 3 million people. The average age of the 58,220 Americans who died there was 23 years.