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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Priest-historian: 75 years later, Pearl Harbor ‘such a powerful event’

A US Catholic military chaplain and historian says the attack on Pearl Harbor, even 75 years later, continues to rivet the attention of Americans because it is “such a powerful event.”

As the anniversary of the attack – which took place on 7th December 1941 – nears, Fr Daniel Mode detailed the effect of the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian outpost.

“Before that, we were debating whether to get involved with World War II or not. We were basically a neutral country, trying not to get engaged in it. It (the attack) changed the tenor, and the president’s resolve, Fr Mode told Catholic News Service. “It brought our country together to fight a common threat.”

Speaking in a telephone interview from the Pentagon, where he works for the chief of chaplains, Fr Mode said he can see a parallel between Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 terror attacks.

“They’re both cataclysmic events that galvanised our country,” he said. “One was more obviously targeted toward the civilian population, one toward the military population,” the priest added, “but both certainly were defining moments in our country.”

Picture: A visitor to the National World War II Memorial in Washington walks near a quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in 2015. Wednesday 7th December will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack. (CNS photo/Matthew Cavanaugh, EPA).