Monday, May 28, 2007

The Four Chaplains...

Today for Memorial Day, let me share with you the courageous story of the The Four Chaplains.

On February 3rd, 1943, at 12:55 in the morning, the USAT Dorchester, carrying 902 servicemen took a torpedo mid-ship and began taking on water rapidly. Less than twenty minutes later the ship would sink beneath the icy waters of the Atlantic. Panic and chaos was rampant aboard the ship as men sought to save their lives pushing and shoving to find a place in one of the lifeboats. The four chaplains who were aboard ship spent the final twenty minutes of their lives handing out life vests, even giving their own vests up when the ships supply ran out. The chaplains went down with the Dorchester while continuing to shout prayers and words of encouragement to those who would die with them. As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four chaplains--arms linked and braced against the slanting deck.

The Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart were awarded posthumously December 19, 1944, to the next of kin.

The Four Chaplains are: Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed.

You can read more at the The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation here.

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