Mayor Taskay designates Feb. 7 ‘Four Chaplains Sunday’
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – City of Tomahawk Mayor Steven E. Taskay earlier this month signed a proclamation designating Feb. 7 to be observed as “Four Chaplains Sunday” in honor of four U.S. Army chaplains who died during World War II.
The “Four Chaplains” – Methodist minister the Reverend George L. Fox, Reform Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Catholic priest Father John P. Washington, and Reformed Church in America minister the Reverend Clark V. Poling – were aboard the USAT Dorchester traveling from New York to Greenland when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Labrador Sea on Feb. 3, 1943. After the troop ship was struck, Fox, Goode, Washington, and Poling gave away their life jackets when the supply ran out and died when the craft sank.
674 of the 904 people on board died, while one of the 230 survivors was lost after rescue.
“The heroic deeds of the Chaplains Lt. George L. Fox, Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Lt. Johnny P. Washington and Lt. Clark V. Poling and their combined act of supreme devotion and sacrifice for American liberty and human freedom, are an inspiring and ever shining example of real brotherhood for all time to the people of the world and we must all see to it that their supreme sacrifice to the common cause of human freedom and justice for all shall not have been in vain,” the proclamation signed by Mayor Taskay on Jan. 6 said.
In the proclamation, Taskay called upon all Tomahawk residents “to commemorate the day with appropriate observances and by prayers in our homes and houses of worship.”
VFW Post 2687 in Tomahawk in years past had held a memorial service honoring the Four Chaplains on the first Sunday in February, but this year’s service has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the spirit of your own faith, please say a special prayer for the Four Chaplains on Sunday, Feb. 7,” Post 2687 stated. “Please also remember those that previously served and are presently serving whose courage and faith have sustained our country under God all these years.”