Historical note, suitable for use in schools.

Saturday was the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester.

The NYT has a nice article about the annual mass at St. Stephen’s in Kearny, New Jersey.

Before volunteering for the war in 1942, Father Washington had last served at St. Stephen’s church in Kearny, N.J., and each year, a Mass is celebrated in honor of him and the other chaplains, attracting veterans from near and far.

But keeping the memory of the four chaplains alive is growing more difficult. Each year, the number of living World War II veterans shrinks. According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 558,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II were still alive in 2017.
They are dying at the rate of 362 per day, the department reports. Among the survivors of the Dorchester disaster, only one remains alive: Bill Bunkelman, who is in a nursing home in Michigan, Ms. Beady said.

In Mr. Hoffman’s pocket was a folded family tree that included the fate of Father Washington’s six brothers and sisters. One brother died in the war. Another went missing in action, but was later found shellshocked. His sister died as a teenager of a disease. His father died in the 1930s.
“I always think of his mother, and her suffering,” Mr. Hoffman said. “To me, that’s a forgotten part of the story.”

Leave a Reply