Legion plans special event

Published 5:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2018

February 3 was designated “Four Chaplains Day” in America by a unanimous vote in a resolution in the U.S. Congress in 1988. The four U.S. Army chaplains of WWII were Rev. George Fox (Methodist), Father John Washington (Roman Catholic), Rev. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed), and Jewish Rabbi Alexander Goode.

The diversity of their religions and backgrounds played no part when a German U-Boat torpedoed the converted luxury cruise ship, the Dorchester, in which the four were traveling in freezing temperatures.

The chaplains passed out life vests until there were no more left. Then what has been described as a “most remarkable act of heroism, courage, faith, and love” took place.

Each of the chaplains took off his own life jacket, and put it on a soldier who didn’t have one. And as the ship sank into the raging sea, the chaplains linked hands and arms. They could be seen and heard praying and singing hymns as they sacrificed their lives “so that others might live.”

To honor them, the American Legion Post 24 will present a memorial ceremony at the Bogalusa High School Jr. ROTC building on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and admission is free of charge.

Whit Gallaspy will take the part of Goode, Gary Rushing will tackle the part of Poling, Mike Henley will take the part of Washington, and Chaplain Paul Corse will take on the part the part of Fox.

In addition, Gallaspy’s daughter, Molly, will sing “America the Beautiful” with accompaniment by his wife, Stacy. The Jr. ROTC cadets of both BHS and Franklinton High School will also take part.