American Legion hosting Four Chaplains Day celebration today

The following was submitted by John C. Quigley II with the American Legion Post 479.

February 3 was established by Congress as Four Chaplains Day in 1988. American Legion Post 479 will celebrate the event today during their 6:30 p.m. meeting at the American Legion Hall, 583 W. Main in Uvalde.

You might wonder why we would celebrate a day named Four Chaplains Day, but it was because four men lived their faith in such a way as to be a beacon for bravery for all who came after them.

On Jan. 23, 1943, the SS Dorchester, a troop ship, left New York en route to Greenland. On board were approximately 900 men headed to the war in Europe, including four young first lieutenant chaplains. Those chaplains included Methodist Geloge L. Fox, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Roman Catholic John P. Washington and Reformed Church in America minister Clark V. Poling.

The foursome were in a convoy of three ships and the ship captain knew that they were in dangerous waters. The captain had been alerted that the Coast Guard detected a submarine in the vicinity. The men were already on high alert because of the area they were navigating through, and the captain had issued orders that all were to sleep in their clothing and life jackets.

Some of the men did not want to wear a life jacket because they were hot and uncomfortable.


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