Four chaplains honored at annual memorial service

The four gave their lives to save others. (WJHG/WECP) -

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sunday afternoon at American Legion Post 402 in Panama City Beach, local veterans honored four chaplains of different denominations who gave their lives to save others.

The four were aboard the U.S.A.T Dorchester when it was sunk by a German U-Boat in World War II.

They willingly gave up their life jackets so others could get out safely.

Commander of American Legion Post 402 Jim Bowers said, "To give their life jackets and everything else to the other soldiers, I'll tell you, it is an honor for us to carry this on."

Every year on or around February 3 or what's known as Four Chaplains Day, those across the country honor the four and their sacrifice.

At Sunday’s service, four candles were lit and members of the chaplain’s denominations read short biographies for those lost.

Bob Hoffman the Chaplain for American Legion Post 402 said, "We try and bring the unity of the Christian faith and keep it alive. We need to communicate with one another and love on one another as much as we can."

This is the second time Post 402 has held the memorial service and they plan to keep holding it for years to come.

"I would say to keep it going so the younger generation realizes that there are people that sacrifice their lives for other people for love of mankind and their fellow brother," said Hoffman.

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