The USS Dorchester sank after being hit by a German torpedo on Feb. 3, 1946, as it was making its way to Greenland during World War II.
As the ship was sinking, four chaplains aboard the ship realized there were not enough life jackets on board to save all of the ship’s sailors. They decided to give up their life jackets to four sailors as the ship sunk further down. Survivors said they were able to hear the four men — Reverend John Washington, Rabbi Alexander Goode, Reverend George Fox and Reverend Clark Poling — lead those remaining on the ship in prayer.
Over three quarters of a century later, the legacy of those four men is still alive. On Sunday the Glen Head-Glenwood Landing American Legion Post 336 held its annual Four Chaplains ceremony at St. Boniface Martyr Church in Sea Cliff.
Religious leaders of different faiths, Father Azubuike, of St. Boniface, Steven Frome, of the North Country Reform Temple, Reverend Kirtland Watkins, of the United Methodist Church and Dr. Kimberly Wilson, of Our Savior Lutheran Church, joined together to present a group of Boy Scouts with life jackets to recreate what had happened so many years ago.
The event carried forth the message of unity, which came from the sacrifice of the original Four Chaplains, something that the American Legion deems to be of the utmost importance.
-- Alyssa Seidman