The Fayette County Commissioners recently signed a proclamation designating Sunday, Feb. 7 of this year to be observed as “Four Chaplains Sunday.”
The proclamation was signed on Jan. 19 after it was determined and brought to the attention of the commissioners that Paul H. Hughey, American Legion Post No. 25 will join other legionnaires around the nation commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the remarkable story of the “Four Chaplains,” who gave their lives to save others during World War II.
The remarkable story of the Four Chaplains and their heroic act is just one of the thousands that occurred during the war, many of which remain untold. The Four Chaplains – a Jewish rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest and two Protestant ministers – calmly issued life belts to American servicemen aboard the troop transport after it was torpedoed in the early morning hours of Feb. 3, 1943, just short of its destination of Greenland. The four then gave up their own life belts so that four soldiers might have a chance to survive. Only 209 of the 904 aboard the U.S. Dorchester survived either the exploding torpedo or the sea, which claimed the ship in a matter of minutes.
“Whereas, it is fitting at a time when the freedom of the world is imperiled that Fayette County should give special recognition to the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom,” the proclamation reads. “Whereas, the heroic deed of the four Chaplains and their combined act of supreme devotion and sacrifice for American Liberty and human freedom will be an inspiring and ever shining example of real brotherhood for all time to the people of the world…Now, therefore, we, the Commissioners of Fayette County, in the State of Ohio, do hereby designate Sunday, February 7, 2016 to be observed as ‘Four Chaplains Sunday’ and call upon all citizens to commemorate the day with appropriate observances in public places and by prayers in their homes and houses of worship.”
On Sunday, Feb. 7, the Fayette County Honor Guard and members of all veterans’ posts in Fayette County are invited to join the officers, members, ladies auxiliary members and sons of the American Legion Post 25, to the 10:30 a.m. worship service at Sugar Creek Baptist Church, 3263 U.S. Route 35 NW in Fayette County.
Visiting a different church in the community each year has been a part of the local commemoration since 1981.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy