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Four Chaplains service set for Sunday at Holley church

Staff Reports Posted 31 January 2020 at 1:58 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Ron Ayrault salutes the American flag after lighting a candle in honor of George L. Fox during the Four Chaplains service on Feb. 3, 2019.

HOLLEY – Veterans and church members will gather at the First Baptist Church in Holley on Sunday to remember four chaplains who gave up their lives to save civilian and military personnel as the SS Dorchester sank on Feb. 3, 1943.

The four chaplains gave up their life jackets when they were none left for others on the ship. The chaplains sang hymns and prayed together as the ship sank.

The local American Legion wants to keep the story of sacrifice alive. Veterans are asked to meet at the church at 9 a.m. on Sunday with the service to follow soon thereafter. The church is at 25 Geddes St.

John Pera, commander of the American Legion in Orleans County, and Ron Ayrault, chaplain for the Legion, will lead the service with will honor the lives of Methodist minister the Reverend George L. Fox, Reform Rabbi Alexander D. Goode (Ph.D.), Roman Catholic priest the Reverend John P. Washington, and Reformed Church in America minister the Reverend Clark V. Poling. All of the chaplains attained the rank of first lieutenant.

The service will include reading the biographies of each of the chaplain, lighting candles, placing wreaths, and playing taps.

The memorial service for the four chaplains will be part of the regular service at church. The service is open to the community.

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