Holy in the Daily

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A Priest’s Memories of Pearl Harbor

In 1978 Father Eugene Morin wrote a letter to a nephew recalling his experience as a priest in Honolulu during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His assignment was to take care of the dying and wounded at a temporary hospital created at Sacred Hearts Convent School. There are not many of us who will hold such holy moments in our day as Father Morin did on December 7, 1941.

I share his story in honor of the men and women who have served our country—protecting and defending it from forces determined to end our role in history.

“Never in my life have I seen so much human blood flow so freely. A sight I hope and pray I shall never witness again. One thing I must say, and I say this with a great deal of admiration for our young servicemen—every one died a hero’s death. Strange as it may seem, when death approaches we always think of those we love most—those perhaps we may in our youth and forgetfulness have neglected.

The thoughts and memories of all the young men I prepared for death were, I am proud to say, about their dear parents. They wanted them to know how much they loved them and what they meant to them while they were growing up, but could not express in words due to shyness—the love, kindness, and understanding they had in their young hearts.

In all my priestly life, I have never heard such sincere, thoughtful, and prayerful confessions. All of those I attended during the thirty-four hours I worked at Sacred Hearts Convent School went to meet their heavenly Creator well prepared to merit an eternal reward. It is an act of heroic sacrifice to give one’s life for one’s country. During my stay at this temporary hospital, I took care of more than 500 young men. Many of them I gently closed their eyes in death, while some I had to leave, leaving this duty to others.”

You can read Father Morin’s full account of that day at marconews.com.

How have those who have served our country impacted your life?

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Pam B

    Susan, thank you for sharing this. Bless you. Pam

  2. Jim Emmett

    Father “Ralph” as I knew him was my father’s uncle. I knew him as a very kind man and enjoyed his visits when he was home in Braintree MA. He spent many years in HI and was devoted to his parish. Never knew this story though until my father found it. I try to remember to read it every Pearl Harbor Day.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Thank you for your comments, Jim. Your words warmed my heart.

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