My father wasn’t an overly political individual, in that he didn’t wear his politics on his sleeve or bellow his views out loud.
However, if there is a cause that might spur Dad into action, it well could be the emergence of these Nazi groups showing up at rallies to protest things like drag shows or those who are accused of mass shootings in schools, shopping malls or churches.
Dad was a proud Navy veteran who fought the Nazis from 1942 until 1945 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He endured 105 consecutive days of aerial bombardment from German and Italian warplanes.
He enlisted on Dec. 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed our fleet at Pearl Harbor; he wanted to join the Marine Corps, the USMC office in Portland was closed that Sunday, so he walked across the hall and joined the Navy.
Dad didn’t boast about his service to the nation or the role he played in ridding the world of tyranny, but he did speak easily about that time — when someone asked him!
I have been thinking of Dad lately as I see these stories about Nazis rearing their ugliness across the country, seemingly feeling comfortable and “mainstream” in spewing their vicious hatred.
This was the kind of monstrosity that the Greatest Generation suited up to fight after the United States entered World War II.
Dad was one of the 16 million Americans who answered the call.
And this non-political American patriot — the late Pete Kanelis –would be aghast at what he is hearing from the mouths of those whose forebears sought to kill him.