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Veterans honor World War II chaplains in Laurel ceremony

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Posted at 10:07 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 13:17:00-05

Four Chaplains Day is a time when those around the country remember four military chaplains who sacrificed for fellow service members during World War II.

One of the ceremonies in Montana happened at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Laurel on Thursday.

American Legion Post 123 hosted the ceremony for the four chaplains who died when US Army Transport Dorchester sunk after getting hit by a German torpedo on Feb. 3, 1943.

Of 902 young men on board, only 232 survived.

"They gave up their life jackets to save four veterans on the ship," said Richard Klose, Post 123 finance officer. "And they locked arms and went down with the ship. Chaplains are a special group to to nurture the fellow veterans."

Klose and American Legion Post 123 brought the ceremony to Laurel two years ago after seeing it in Helena.

The chaplains honored are George L. Fox, Alexander D. Goode, Chaplain Clark V. Poling and John P. Washington.

Pastor Jason Nicholson of Our Savior's Lutheran Church participated in the ceremony is also a reserve Navy chaplain.

He reflected on that fateful day.

"In the military, you're trained to think of others as chaplains and as clergy members are taught and trained to think about others," Nicholson said. "And making that sacrifice in the example of Christ, or in the example of God cause there's a Jewish chaplain too."

"It's a good lesson for everybody to know that there are people out there willing to sacrifice their lives for others," Klose said.

"Remembering that sacrifice, remembering that unity even in the midst of our differences is really important," Nicholson said.

Nationwide, they've been remembering and holding the ceremony since 1951.