BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has no problem talking about the intricacies of the game of football, and did so for over 20 minutes on Wednesday.
But after his lengthy chat with reporters about preparing for Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens (among many other things), Belichick talked about something else that is near and dear to his heart: the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Belichick is a history buff and has strong connections to the Naval Academy, where his dad served as an assistant coach for 34 years. Belichick was asked about the significance of that day, and said the big lesson learned was the country’s response.
“A pretty big day in our history, certainly in Naval history,” Belichick said. “For me, the lesson on Pearl Harbor, and for us as a team individually, I would say is not what happened on December 7, although that was a lesson there, but the response and what the response was from our nation, from our military, from our civilians and from our population to battle the world on two fronts and win both of them. What this country did under [President Franklin Delano] Roosevelt’s leadership as well as the multiple military leaders to go fight in Europe and then go fight in Southeast Asia and Japan in response to what happened on December 7, 1941 is pretty impressive.”
Belichick then discussed how his father, Steve, served in World War II before he began his career in coaching.
“I remember my dad talking a lot about that – when it happened and when he found out,” Belichick continued. “Then when he went into the Navy and went to Great Lakes and then eventually went to Europe and eventually went to Okinawa, it was a tough time for this country but it was a great example of the patriotism of our citizens, men and women fighting together, pulling together and being victorious in a lot of different ways.
“It’s a special, special day, one we hope we don’t have to see again,” he said. “A tough day for the Navy, though. But they responded, they bounced back, and then the Battle of Midway, that was really a huge turning point that had that not gone the way it did, then I don’t know, it probably would have been a longer fight.”
Before leaving the podium, Belichick made sure to thank reporter Alan Segel of ESPN Radio for asking such an important question.