Huntersville American Legion Post 321
Four Chaplains Day Observance
February 2, 2023
On the evening of February 2, 2023 the members of Huntersville American Legion Post 321 were joined by members of the Huntersville American Legion Auxiliary Post 321, members of the Sons of the American Legion Post 321, Cadets from Hopewell Highschool JROTC, friends, family and a member of the press to observe Four Chaplains Day.
The nearly 50 people in attendance saw Commander Frank Christmas open the Post’s monthly general meeting and then immediately suspend normal procedures to conduct the ceremony. CDR Christmas turned the meeting over to Post Chaplain, Dennis Robitaille, who provided the opening prayer and then introduced the Four Chaplains Ceremony.
Christmas, playing the role of Chaplain George Fox (USA), recounted CH Fox’s distinguished service in both WWI and WWII and then presented a life preserver to Cadet Sergeant Morgan Guissari (daughter of ALA member Kristin Guissari and granddaughter of ALA member Mary Morgan), symbolizing the gallantry of CH Fox’s actions on February 3, 1943.
Legionnaire Joe Potuzak then represented Chaplain Rabbi Alexander Goode (USA). Joe recounted CH Goode’s patriotic volunteering for the Army Chaplain’s School in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor before presenting a life preserver to Cadet Staff Sergeant Megan Sherrill in memory of CH Goode’s heroism in the North Atlantic.
Second Vice Commander Kevin Horn then portrayed Chaplain Father John Washington (USA). Horn recalled how CH Washington had been ordained as a Priest in 1935 and sought appointment as an Army Chaplain shortly after the commencement of WWII. Kevin then presented a life preserver to Cadet Major Syrena Peterson in remembrance of CH Washington’s valor.
Judge Advocate Charlie Newton, representing Chaplain Clarke V. Poling (USA), recalled CH Poling’s family history of service in the US Army Chaplain’s Corps. Newton then presented a life preserver to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Jack Kish, recalling the bravery of CH Poling.
Post Finance Officer, Joe Moyer, and Auxiliary Member, Libby Monks, concluded the ceremony by recounting how these four chaplains, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, from four different backgrounds; a country boy from Vermont, a city boy from Washington, an inner-city kid from Newark and a pastor’s son from New York City came together on the deck of the USS Dorchester on February 3, 1943 in the freezing Labrador Sea to exemplify selfless sacrifice and valor above and beyond the call of duty.
Upon completion of the ceremony, CDR Christmas presented the JROTC Cadets with personalized Post 321 Certificates of Participation and encouraged the young future leaders to always remember the valor of the Four Chaplains.
We thank Post Chaplain Dennis Robitaille for his development and leadership of this ceremony, the Hopewell High School JROTC detachment for their professional and disciplined participation and all of our participants for their outstanding efforts.
We encourage you to join us at the next general meeting on Thursday, March 2 for fellowship with other veterans and continued service to our families, our community, and our country.