KENT, Ohio - A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday to mark two major milestones related to the May 4, 1970 campus shootings that killed four Kent State University students and wounded nine others.
The university dedicated a walking tour. Visitors can read seven markers and use their cell phones to listen to a narration describing the the tragic events of that day.
The university also unveiled a plaque recognizing the site on the National Register of Historic Places.
Both events took place the day before the 40th anniversary of the shootings.
Few people were more affected by the Kent State shootings than Nancy Tuttle, of Cleveland Heights.
Her younger brother, William Schroeder, 19, was watching fellow students protesting the Vietnam War when he was shot and killed by the Ohio National Guard.
"He was assuring people that they weren't allowed to use real bullets and that was the last thing he said was, 'Is the ambulance coming?' when he was shot," Tuttle said.
Over the years, Kent State has struggled with not letting the tragedy define the university, while honoring its historical significance.
Kent State President Lester Lefton told a large gathering, "This is a difficult day for everyone gathered here. I hope you feel the heartfelt sympathy and support of the entire Kent State community."
University anthropology professor Mark Seeman helped get the site designated on the national register.
"It gives some prominence, some weight. It's a statement on the part of our government that this is a place where history happened," Seeman said.
Tuttle, who came to the event with her mother and son, said she appreciates the national recognition.
"I'm really grateful to the people that made it a national historical site. It puts in perspective," Tuttle said.
A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. Monday night.
On May 4, several events are planned including a silent vigil and a remembrance day observation from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information on the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shooting, check out our special section .
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