Posted by: SJS | January 21, 2019

MLK – A hero of Red Stahley’s

In the early months of 1968 I remember my father making several references to the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., in our conversations about national politics.  It turned out that Red had been playing close attention to the words and actions of the civil rights leader and found himself in broad agreement with King’s work for justice and racial equality.  I was surprised to learn just how carefully my father had been absorbing the points expressed by Dr. King and the depth of his agreement with the positions taken by the man who had become the face and voice of the Civil Rights Movement.

As we celebrate the memory of Dr. King on this holiday, I remember with gratitude the profound effect that he had on my father and other members of that generation of Americans who sacrificed so much in WWII.  Like many of his fellow WWII veterans, Red Stahley came to see that the movement led by Dr. King was calling America to fully embrace the principles on which the nation was founded–liberty and justice for all.  It was these very principles that my father had fought to protect during his Navy service on the PT boats in the Med and the South Pacific.  Once that connection became clear to Red, he was all in with the noble work of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

In the photo, Dr. King meets with president (and PT Veteran) John F. Kennedy in 1962.


  1. The Kennedys took a bit to warm up to what was going on but once they did good work. I guess we all hopefully continue to evolve.

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