Four Chaplains Memorial.

Four Chaplains Memorial

Field review by the editors.

Bottineau, North Dakota

If it wasn't so tragic, it would sound like a set-up for an irreverent interfaith joke: "A priest, two ministers, and a rabbi were on a troop ship together..." But it really happened in WWII -- four chaplains of four different faiths were on the Allied troop ship Dorchester on February 3, 1943, when it was torpedoed by a Nazi U-boat. As the ship sank, the chaplains gave their life belts to soldiers and then "went down together."

The inspiring chaplains are memorialized in Bottineau in a small, four-columned cement arch, shading an upright cement slab to which is bolted a bronze plaque depicting the Dorchester going down. Above the doomed ship, in the cloud of steam and smoke exploding out of it, the giant heads of the chaplains can be seen, looking stern and saintly. Above their heads are the words: "For God And Country."

"'Love thy neighbor as thyself' even if he does not go to the church where you worship," advises a sign in front of it.

Four Chaplains Memorial

4th St. W, Bottineau, ND
Northwest corner of 4th St. W and Sinclair St.
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