Local leaders celebrate Four Chaplains Day

By Joe Bennett

February 3, 2013 Updated Feb 4, 2013 at 12:51 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- While millions of people are celebrating the Super Bowl, others are also recognizing the national holiday, Four Chaplains Day.

70 years ago, the USAT Dorchester was sunk during World War II.

As the ship went down with more than 600 people still on board, four religious leaders of different faiths prayed for the lives of the crew after sacrificing their own life jackets.

This weekend, three area churches and a Jewish synagogue held services honoring the importance of putting aside differences in the face of adversity.

"None of those churches were really working together at that point in time," says Tazewell County Boartd Member John Ackerman. "They were all doing their own thing. There really wasn't that much communication. Some of them had distaste of each other, but these four gentlemen rose above that and showed an example we should live by."

Rabbi Daniel Bogard of Anshai Emeth says, "It's to sort of band together and bring out these values that we'd seen in the original Four Chaplains, these values of interfaith work, these values of service to community instead of service to ourselves."

The Four Chaplains being honored included a Methodist minister, a Jewish Rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest, and a minister for the Reformed Church in America.

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