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Calendar >  Vista American Legion Post 365 hosts ‘Four Chaplains Memorial Tribute’

Vista American Legion Post 365 hosts ‘Four Chaplains Memorial Tribute’

By   /  February 2, 2017  /  No Comments

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Greater love had no men

Vista American Legion Post 365 hosts ‘Four Chaplains Memorial Tribute’ Friday, February 3,  7 pm

B.J. Coleman …One was a Roman Catholic priest. One was a Methodist pastor. Another was a Jewish rabbi. The fourth was a Reformed Dutch minister.

They all held the military rank of first lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II. And all four men died on February 3, 1943, with the sinking of the troop transport ship SS Dorchester, as they gave up their life preservers to save the lives of four others of their shipmates.

Vista’s Alvin Myo Dunn American Legion Post 365 will conduct a ceremony honoring the sacrifice of these heroes on the evening of Friday, February 3. The Post is located at 1234 S. Santa Fe Ave. The “Four Chaplains Memorial Tribute” will begin at 7 p.m., led by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 365 Chaplain Mary Ann Marron. The public is welcome to attend.

As the scripture says, “Greater love has no man than this, to lay down his life for his friends” 

These men were, in turn, Father John P. Washington, Reverend George L. Fox, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, and Reverend Clark V. Poling. They came aboard the Dorchester to sail from New York harbor, bound for Greenland en route to the European theater.

The ship carried around 900 other souls. In the early morning hours of February 3, 1943, a German submarine patrolling sea lanes torpedoed the Dorchester. These four chaplains ministered to other troops in their charge for as long as they could as the ship went dark and began to sink.

They helped shipmates board lifeboats, and then they linked arms, saying prayers for the other men and singing hymns as the ship slid underwater.

Survivors from the 904 numbered 230.

An act of the U.S. Congress in 1988 set February 3 as Four Chaplains Day. Remembrance ceremonies such as the tribute at the Vista American Legion Post are often held during the first weekend of February, including religious services on Four Chaplains Sunday.

More information on the memorial tribute can be acquired by phoning Marron at (760) 727-4685.  http://www.fourchaplains.org/

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