Schwartz and Santinelli to Be Enrolled In Four Chaplains’ Legion of Honor

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Livingston’s veterans organizations will honor two Livingston residents, Don Schwartz and Nick Santinelli, with the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award.

Veteran Charlie Quinn, chaplain of the Livingston VFW Post, recounts the story of the Four Chaplains, who included a Methodist minister, the Reverend George L. Fox; a Reform Rabbi,Alexander D. Goode (Ph.D.); a Roman Catholic priest, Father John P. Washington; and a Reformed Church in America minister, the Reverend Clark V. Poling. “Just after midnight on February 3, 1943 an enemy submarine fired a torpedo at the U.S.A.T. Dorchester,” said Quinn. “The missile exploded in the boiler room, destroying the electric supply and releasing suffocating clouds of steam and ammonia gas. Many on board died instantly; some were trapped below deck. Taking on water rapidly, the ship began listing starboard or to the right facing forward. Overcrowded lifeboats capsized. Men clung to the rails, frozen in fear, unable to let go and plunge into the dark churning water below. Testimony of survivors tells us the only fragment of hope in this chaos came from the Four Chaplains who calmly guided men to their boat stations. They started distributing life jackets. They coaxed the men, frozen with fear, over the side. The supply of life jackets was exhausted. Several watched in awe as the Four Chaplains gave their own life jackets away. Since 1951, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, has perpetuated the memory of these four heroic chaplains.”

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