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Sunday, April 30, 2017

History in Einsenhower Park

On a visit to Eisenhower Park, I went into the the Veterans Memorial section. You can read about it here. Some have distinguishing features, like the one with an attached helmet pictured below:
Others are reminders of some aspects of history that are not included in standard curricula on WWII, like the memorial to the 4 chaplains. 

picture and text from http://www.memorialdayfoundation.org/new-york/eisenhower-park-four-chaplains-war-memorial.html
The information on the memorial is the following:
THE FOUR CHAPLAINS, ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE "IMMORTAL CHAPLAINS" OR THE "DORCHESTER CHAPLAINS" WERE FOUR UNITED STATES ARMY CHAPLAINS, LT. GEORGE L. FOX, METHODIST; LT. ALEXANDER D. GOODE, JEWISH; LT. JOHN P. WASHINGTON, ROMAN CATHOLIC; AND LT. CLARK V. POLING, DUTCH REFORMED, WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES TO SAVE OTHER CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL AS THE TROOP SHIP USA DORCHESTER, HIT BY AN ENEMY TORPEDO, SANK ON FEBRUARY 3, 1943, DURING WORLD WAR II. THEY HELPED OTHER SOLDIERS BOARD LIFE BOATS AND GAVE UP THEIR OWN LIFE JACKET WHEN THE SUPPLY RAN OUT. THE CHAPLAINS JOINED ARMS, SAID PRAYERS, AND SANG HYMNS AS THEY WENT DOWN WITH THE SHIP. IN DOING SO, THEY BECAME AN ENDURING EXAMPLE OF EXTRAORDINARY FAITH, COURAGE AND SELFLESSNESS. THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS AND PURPLE HEART WERE AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY DECEMBER 19, 1944, TO THEIR NEXT OF KIN. A POSTHUMOUS SPECIAL MEDAL FOR HEROISM, NEVER BEFORE GIVEN AND NEVER TO BE GIVEN AGAIN, WAS AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS AND AWARD BY THE PRESIDENT JANUARY 18, 1961.

To learn more about the 4 Chaplains, read this: http://www.fourchaplains.org/the-saga-of-the-four-chaplains/ While there are over 300 memorials to their self-sacrifice, it appears that no one has ever dramatized the event.

Should you find yourself in the vicinity of the park, you can see the various memorials in person. They now extend recognition to those outside the usual parameters of army duty that were victimized,  including the "Comfort Women."