A torpedo from a German submarine sliced into the USAT Dorchester shortly after midnight on Feb. 3, 1943. Of the 902 young men on board, only 230 survived. Many of the survivors owe their lives to the courage and leadership exhibited by the four heroic chaplains, who, in sacrificing their lives, created a unique legacy in celebrating the common human values embraced by all the world’s religions.
Chaplains Fox, Goode, Poling and Washington were posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart, and in 1948, Congress declared Feb. 3 to be Four Chaplains Day. Since 1951, The Chapel of Four Chaplains in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has spread the message of interfaith cooperation and selfless service, touching the lives of thousands of people across the country.
In honor of their sacrifice, the annual Four Chaplains Memorial Service will be on Monday, February 4, 5:00 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial in Fountain Park. The ceremony will be hosted by the American Legion Post 58 and the Fountain Hills Interfaith Alliance of which New Journey Lutheran is a member. We are privileged to join thousands of others across the country who will be gathering on or near February 4 to honor the Four Chaplains who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others.
Please join us on Monday, February 4 at 5:00 p.m.
“It was the finest thing I have seen, or hope to see, this side of heaven.”
— Survivor John Ladd, who watched the chaplains distribute life jackets, and when they ran out, removed their own and gave them to four young men. As Dorchester sank, the chaplains were seen linked arm in arm, praying.