KOTA Territory residents remember the sacrifice of four chaplain - KOTA Territory News

KOTA Territory residents remember the sacrifice of four chaplains

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The four chaplains who sacrificed their lives in 1943 for their fellow servicemen were remembered Sunday.

Attendance was down at the Four Chaplains Memorial Service at the First Methodist United Church in Sturgis because of the cold weather, but wreaths were still hung in their honor.

Lieutenants George Fox, Alexander Goode, John Washington and Clark Poling were honored for giving up their life jackets to other solders when the USS Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine during WWII and sank.

Chaplain Willard Olsen, Black Hills Health care System, says they usually have more people in attendance, but no matter the number of people at the service, it's still important to recognize these brave men. "Not too many people have the opportunity to become heroic and give themselves in that dramatic way,"  said Olsen. 

Mike Mullen, Department of South Dakota VFW, was one of those who presented a wreath in honor of the chaplains. He says that it was his pleasure to be able to be apart of this ceremony. "I just feel that I'm giving back to people that didn't make it back. It's kind of hard to explain; it's something that you have to feel," said Mullen.

Out of 902 men that were on the ship, 214 survived.

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