Highlands American Legion hosts Four Chaplains Memorial Ceremony

By Chip Snyder PIO, American Legion Post 370

Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor and the Highlands American Legion Post 370 held a service at Veterans Plaza on Feb. 3 to commemorate the sacrifice of four armed forces chaplains during World War II.

Highlands Mayor and American Legion members salute during a Four Chaplains ceremony.

Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor honored this day by declaring February 3 as the official Four Chaplains Day in Highlands.

The four chaplains who gave their life-belts so other soldiers could live were honored by the Highlands American Legion Post 370 on Feb. 3.

Post Commander Ed McCloskey read a brief recitation of the events that took place on that day in 1943.

Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor spoke a few words at the ceremony honoring the chaplains and all members of the armed forces for service above self.

Post members Zach Claxton, Ken Knight, Bill Edwards, and Chip Snyder then read a story outlining the individual contributions each chaplain made in saving the lives of others on this tragic day in World War II history.

American Legion Post 370 Commander Ed McKlosky at the Four Chaplains ceremony.

The four chaplain’s represented various faiths including a Jewish Rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest, and two Protestant ministers.

The chaplains issued life-belts to American servicemen aboard the troop transport after it was torpedoed on Feb. 3, 1943.

American Legion member Zach Claxton.

When the supply of life preservers was exhausted, the four chaplains removed their own life belts and gave them to four soldiers and then stood calmly on the sinking ship, their arms around one another’s shoulders, and their heads bowed in prayer.

American Legion member Ken Knight flanked by Ed McKlosky.

Their efforts were credited with saving more than 200 lives.

American Legion member Bill Edwards.

Inspired by the four chaplains, over 900 American Legion Posts across the country mark the anniversary of their sacrifice through special services and programs.

American Legion member Chip Snyder.

This annual observance is part of the Legion’s “Service to God and Country” program.

Members of American Legion Post 370 at the Four Chaplains Day ceremony on Feb. 3.

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