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Bluffton American Legion Four Chaplains Service

Chaplain Gary Dipnarine of Bluffton American Legion Post 382 has announced a worship service to mark the Sacrifice of Four Armed Forces Chaplains during World War II, which will take place during the Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023 worship service at the Beaverdam Church of Christ, 308 East Main St.

The public is invited to attend the service, which begins at 10:30 a.m.

Legion officials and clergymen are planning special programs for the observance of the 80th Anniversary of the sinking of the USS Dorchester and the heroism demonstrated by the four chaplains.

Organizers note, "of the many incidents of World War II, probably none stirred the nation more deeply than the story of these four men of God whose heroic efforts were credited with the saving of more than 200 lives. These four--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 on February 3, 1943.

"When the supply of life preservers was exhausted, the four Chaplains removed their own life belts and gave them to four soldiers and then stood calmly on the sinking ship, their arms around one another's shoulders and their heads bowed in prayer.

"Inspired by the heroic deeds of these four Chaplains, the American Legion each year marks the anniversary of their supreme sacrifice through special services and programs throughout the nation. This annual observance, as part of the Legion’s 'Service to God and Country' program, helps bring new emphasis to the religious aspects of our American heritage and the need for continuing adherence to the basic religious concepts upon which America was founded."