On Sunday, Feb. 2, I had the honor and privilege to attend a beautiful and thought provoking ceremony arranged by the American Legion, Second District Department of Ohio, and held at Post 323 in St, Marys.
This ceremony commemorated the 77th year passed since the sinking of the USAT DORCHESTER, which was heading toward Greenland with 902 servicemen, merchant seamen, and civilian workers. In the frigid waters en route to her destination, she was attacked, torpedoed and sunk by a German sub.
As the ship was slipping beneath the sea and men were abandoning her leaping into the icy waters, four chaplains remained behind to pass out life preservers, direct, and pray for the living and dying. Not enough preservers were available to all, so the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to some who had none. In that unselfish act, they sealed their fate by remaining on board.
It is said,”There can be no greater love then when one gives his life for another.” It was displayed that day by these four, a Methodist, Rabbi, Catholic Priest, and Dutch Reformed. They were awarded The Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart posthumously along with The Special Medal for Heroism. This wonderful tribute is held once a year by The American Legion, Second District, Department of Ohio.
All of the public is invited to attend. It is an event to be long remembered.
Leslie J. Kubinski, Wapakoneta