Four Chaplains Sunday ceremony January 30, 2005

Inspired by the heroic deed of the four chaplains recognized by Four Chaplains Sunday, the Branson Veterans Task Force marks the anniversary of their sacrifice each year with a special service and this year the ceremony will be held Jan. 30 at 1:30 p.m. at the College of the Ozarks Williams Memorial Chapel.

"Chaplain Ron Underwood from Whiteman Air Force Base is our special speaker. The ceremony is open to the public and is especially important during this time when American soldiers are serving around the world," said Dr. Dale Smith, chairman of the board of the Branson Veterans Task Force.

The four chaplains, Chaplains George L. Fox (Methodist), Alexander D. Goode (Jewish), Clark V. Poling (Reformed Church), and John P. Washington (Catholic), are credited with saving more than 200 lives when they gave up their life jackets and their lives when the United States Army Transport (USAT) Dorchester was sunk by a German submarine on Feb. 3, 1943 only 15 miles from its destination in Greenland. The four calmly issued life-belts to American servicemen aboard the troop transport after it was torpedoed. When the supply of life preservers was exhausted, the four chaplains removed their own life belts and gave them to four soldiers. They then stood on the sinking ship, arms around one another’s shoulders and their heads bowed in prayer.

The Branson Veterans Task Force works to promote an environment of patriotic pride and dignity to recognize and honor our Nation’s veterans and their families. This is just one of the many happenings the non-profit groups sponsors, the largest of which is Veterans Homecoming held during Veterans Week in November. For more information contact: Branson Veterans Task Force Inc., 138 Pointe Royale Drive Suite 0 (The Helms Building), Branson, MO 65615 or call 417-337-VETS.

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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