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Tin Soldiers and Nixon's Coming
By Bonnie J. Caracciolo
For me, this date will live forever. I suspect for many of those in my generation who were paying attention, May 4, 1970—will join those dates forever etched in our minds—November 22, 1963, April 4, 1968, June 6, 1968, and so on.
I was in Spain at the time. I was on my way to classes at the University of Madrid. There had been campus riots there, military personnel and tanks were positioned around the area in front of the building where I studied. Students around the world were demonstrating against a variety of issues at that time. I passed a kiosk early on the morning of May 5, 1970. One of those kiosks you see where magazines and chewing gum, cigarettes and lottery tickets are sol—with newspapers clipped on a string by clothespins, like flags on a line. One picture seemed to be on the cover of just about every magazine and newspaper. I looked and looked again because I could tell that boy lying face down and the girl kneeling next to him were American kids. When I read what it was all about, I immediately slipped into a surreal state of horror and shock. Oh my God, they are shooting peaceful protesters. My life changed for good that day.
Bonnie Caracciolo is a supporter of VVAW and a longtime thorn in the side of the Empire. She lives in Boston, MA.