“The encounter made my father a little uncomfortable,” he says. “He felt he didn’t do anything ‘heroic’ except survive. But he was gracious, and when the couple reached out to shake his hand, he saw the tattoos on their wrists. Marks from the concentration camps.”
Kenneth Morefield is now 51, an important age for the Campbell English professor, because it’s the same age his father was when his embassy in Tehran was stormed by students who supported the Iranian Revolution, which marked the beginning of what would come to be known as the Iran Hostage Crisis. In thinking back to what those 444 days were like for his father, his mother and his siblings, several high points and low points come to mind for Kenneth. The older he gets, the more those positive moments — outreach or kindness from complete strangers during the whole ordeal — jump to the forefront of his thoughts.