Four Chaplains Day is observed on February 3rd each year to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of four chaplains who lost their lives during World War II. The chaplains, who represented different faiths, were aboard the USAT Dorchester when it was hit by a German submarine and began to sink. As the ship was going down, the chaplains gave their lifejackets to soldiers and went down with the ship, offering comfort and prayers to those who were unable to escape. The chaplains were Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Father John P. Washington, Reverend Clark V. Poling, and Reverend George L. Fox. The Four Chaplains Day is a day to remember their selflessness and bravery, and to honor all chaplains who have served in the armed forces.
Governor Tim Walz has directed flags at all state buildings in Minnesota to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Friday, February 3, 2023, in recognition of Four Chaplains Day. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the torpedoing of the USS Dorchester, a United States Army transport ship, 150 miles off the coast of Greenland that resulted in the loss of 672 lives. Four Army chaplains demonstrated heroism, humanitarianism, and self-sacrifice onboard the sinking ship.