Sunday, February 03, 2008

Four Chaplain's Day

American Minute with Bill Federer

February 3

On the frigid night of FEBRUARY 3, 1943, the Allied ship Dorchester
plowed through the waters near Greenland.

At 1:00am, a Nazi submarine fired a torpedo into its flank, killing
hundreds in the explosion and trapping others below deck.

It the ensuing chaos, four chaplains: a Priest, a Rabbi and two
Protestant Ministers; distributed life jackets.

When there were none left, the four chaplains ripped off their own
jackets and put them on four young men.

Standing embraced on the slanting deck, the chaplains bowed their
heads in prayer as they sank to their icy deaths.

Congress honored them by declaring this "Four Chaplains Day."

On February 7, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower remarked:

"And we remember that, only a decade ago, aboard the transport
Dorchester, four chaplains of four faiths together willingly
sacrificed their lives so that four others might live.

In the three centuries that separate the Pilgrims of the Mayflower
from the chaplains of the Dorchester, America's freedom, her courage,
her strength and her progress have had their foundation in faith."

Eisenhower concluded:

"Today as then, there is need for positive acts of renewed
recognition that faith is our surest strength, our greatest


EC Gefroh said...

I think we have the book about their story Sea of Glory.

Cathy said...

Thanks for sharing!
What an amazing story.

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Catholic and politically conservative, I graduated with a BA in History (concentration in American) and Political Science. I'm between two parishes; one in Wisconsin that is fairly traditional, and one in Illinois that is fairly liberal. I teach CCD. I work in the food service industry, which basically means I'm working in fast food until I find a better job. I'd like to work for the church somehow. Right now I'm working on getting my teaching certification, although I'm unsure thats the correct path for me. This blog is as random as I am. I hope you enjoy.