‘Selfless Service’

The Inter-Mountain photos by Brooke Binns Arley Simmons and Angelo Semenick, both members of the American Legion Post 29, have received the Legion of Honor Award and are presented with plaques to commemorate the honor. Pictured from left are Charles Ranew, Post 29 commander; Semenick; Simmons; and Roger Ware, past commander.

ELKINS — Two members of the American Legion Post 29 have been honored and recognized for their dedication to veterans and for upholding American values.

Roger Ware, former Post 29 commander, and Charles Ranew, current Post 29 commander, recently presented Arley Simmons and Angelo Semenick with plaques and special certificates when they received the Legion of Honor Award.

“The American Legion is proud to honor two of our own with the Legion of Honor Award in recognition of their outstanding support of veterans and for upholding America’s precious values and our traditions,” Ware said.

The Legion of Honor program publicly recognizes people whose lives model selfless service to the community, nation and humanity without regard to race, religion, nationality or creed, Ware said.

“No tradition in American history is more precious to or characteristic of our culture than that of voluntarily reaching out to neighbors in need — such selfless service is part of our own civic and religious heritage,” Ware said.

Charles Ranew, American Legion Post 29 commander, right, presents Roger Holiday with the Good Citizenship Award from Post 29 in recognition of all Holiday does for the group.

He added Simmons and Semenick should both be recognized for what they have done for the American Legion, and also what they have done for the community.

In a special presentation on Veterans Day at the American Legion Post 29’s annual dinner, Ware spoke about the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation’s vision and gave a brief history on the foundation of the organization.

According to the foundation’s website, four U.S. Army Chaplains gave up their life jackets and prayed together when their transport ship — the U.S.A.T Dorchester — was torpedoed 80 miles south of Greenland on Feb. 3, 1943. Each of the chaplains came from different faiths and backgrounds — John P. Washington was a Catholic Priest from New Jersey; Rabbi Alexander D. Goode was a native of Pennsylvania; Clark V. Poling was a minister at the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York; and George L. Fox was a Methodist minister in Vermont and decorated World War I veteran.

“This was a heroic act, but not the only heroic act on board the Dorchester that night. … There were other acts of heroism, but given the fact that these four men of faith did what they did to sacrifice their lives for others was significant,” Ware said.

The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation’s vision is to impart the principles of selfless service to humanity without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, gender or religious beliefs, according to its website.

In addition, the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation exists to further the cause of “unity without uniformity” by encouraging goodwill and cooperation among all people. The organization strives to achieves its mission by advocating for and honoring people whose deeds symbolize the legacy of the four chaplains who came together to help others in 1943.