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Ceremony to observe 77th anniversary of Four Army Chaplains

Honoring Those Who Served-Ministry breakfast group will be hosting the 77th anniversary of the four Army chaplains who met their final death on Feb. 3, 1943.

The ceremony will be conducted at Trinity Homes on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 3 p.m. in the third floor chapel. The ceremony is open to the public.

On Feb. 3, 1943, four Army chaplains – George L. Fox, Alexander D. Goode, Clark V. Poling and John P. Washington – who were aboard the SS Dorchester gave their lives to save servicemen when the ship was hit by a torpedo from an enemy submarine, instantly killing and wounding many men on board.

Testimonies of survivors say the only fragment of hope in the chaos came from the Four Chaplains, who calmly guided men to their boat stations. They opened a storage locker and distributed lifejackets and then they coaxed men, frozen with fear, over the side. Soon the supply of lifejackets was exhausted. Several survivors reported watching in awe as the four chaplains either gave away or forced upon other young men their own lifejackets. The chaplains had given away their only means of saving themselves in order to save others.

Of the 902 officers, servicemen and civilian works on board, 688 went to an unmarked watery grave. Today, as it has these many years, the Chapel of Four Chaplains serves the memory of these brave men, and carries the Four Chaplains’ message of interfaith cooperation and selfless service.

This will be one of a number of veterans’ programs that Honoring Those Who Serve-Ministry breakfast group will be hosting this year. The group plans to host others in the next months assisted living facilities and others including: Medal of Honor in March, Memorial Day at the Parker in May, Flag Folding in June, Purple Heart in August, POW/MIA in September, N.D. Gold Star Mothers and Family Day, and Veterans Day at the Parker in November, Pearl Harbor in December. Watch the Minot Daily News for more information on date, time and location.

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