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Four World War II Chaplains Honored By Yorktown American Legion

Four chaplains who died in World War II were honored at an American Legion ceremony in Yorktown. Photo Credit: Contributed
Students from Mildred Strang Middle School’s Living History program wore their Revolutionary War clothes at a ceremony honoring four chaplains Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- The American Legion Post #1009 in Yorktown spent their Sunday commemorating the lives of four chaplains who gave their lives in World War II.

The chaplains' ship was sunk by a German submarine in the North Atlantic. One chaplain was a rabbi, one was a Dutch reformed minister, one was a Methodist and the other was a Catholic priest.

While the ship was sinking, the chaplains handed out life preservers and calmed the soldiers on board. When all the life preservers were gone, the chaplains gave up their own preservers to save four more men.

As their ship sank, the four chaplains were seen linked arm in arm with their shipmates praying together.

"These were good men exhibiting the freedom of religion in America at its wholehearted best," Patrick McDonough of the Yorktown American Legion said.

The ceremony was led by Pastor Susan Nagle of Grace Lutheran Church, Rabbi Robert Weiner of Temple Beth Am, Pastor Dan O'Brien of Calvary Bible Church and Rev. Robert Quarato of St. Elizabeth Seton Church who read biographies of the four chaplains.

"This was an event every American could be proud of, a ceremony celebrating the bravery, tolerance, cooperation, and faith of four American soldiers," McDonough said.

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