By today’s standards, his remarks aren’t considered politically correct.
Yet, perhaps he has earned the right for these views because of the sacrifices he and others have made for the safety and well-being of their homeland as well as for future generations still to come.
We refer to Dee Frisbee, a retired principal at the former Cleveland Junior High School, a survivor of the Great Depression and a respected veteran of World War II. He was one of thousands of U.S. infantrymen stationed in Nagasaki shortly after the historic drop of two nuclear bombs on Japan.
Years later his long-term health would pay the ultimate price for that exposure — cancer; in fact, five cancers that over the years have required 140 radiation treatments and three regimens of chemotherapy.
“I’m probably a victim of how (the bomb) can affect people long-term,” he told Banner staff writer and guest columnist Brook Evans in a “Personality Profile” interview that was published in the Nov. 15 edition. “My doctors believe my cancers are from exposure in Japan.”
These are the kinds of sacrifices that give this educator, humanitarian and hometown hero the right to voice his opinion.
No matter how bold.
Some blame America’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan to end the great war as the official start of nuclear proliferation globally. These fears stab deep into the hearts of millions especially with the New World terror threat by misguided extremists whose sole mindset is the murder of those choosing not to conform to their radical beliefs.
Frisbee views his country’s decision to use atomic weaponry from a much broader perspective. As historians have recounted, a U.S. invasion of Japan to close out the great war would have led to the deaths of 1 million American soldiers and at least 2 million — perhaps more — Japanese fighters and civilians.
In Frisbee’s mind, as was the case with most war-weary American and allied forces, the decision made itself.
The longtime educator remembers these sacrifices — by a group some historians credit as “The Greatest Generation” — and it upsets him that some in today’s society seek only to cast blame against those from the gone era, as well as the United States as a nation.
Young people have changed.
Kids are still changing.
The veteran calls it an “anything goes” generation that worships materialism and flaunts self-satisfaction.
Again, perhaps politically incorrect but the man has earned the right to speak.
He goes on.
“We’ve taken the fiber out (of children),” he told our writer. “Now we have to have designer clothes. I was happy to have jeans without holes in the knees.”
The former principal still believes in education and he holds an endearing respect for teachers.
Those who consider him narrow-minded or tunnel-visioned might do well to consider this. He and his faithful wife, Irene, have three grown daughters and three grandchildren. Each grandchild is adopted. One is Russian.
He believes his country approaches its most critical period — that if change for the better doesn’t come within the next few years its spiral could become irreversible.
Men like Dee Frisbee know they are opinionated.
They understand their views aren’t always the most popular.
But they’ve survived a darker side of life.
And they’ve learned.
Their experiences hold answers.
If others will only listen.