Memorial Day Special (May 25, 2014) - #4419
Music & The Spoken Word

Music and the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. May 25, 2014 Broadcast Number 4419. 


"America, the Dream Goes On"1 
Composer: John Williams
Lyrics: Alan & Marilyn Bergman

"The Mansions of the Lord," from We Were Soldiers
Composer: Nick Glennie-Smith
Lyrics: Randall Wallace
Arrangement: Michael Davis

Prelude on "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (Organ Solo)
Composer: Clay Christiansen

"Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones"
Composers: Orrin Hatch, Lowell Alexander, and Phil Nash
Lyrics: Orrin Hatch, Lowell Alexander, and Phil Nash
Arrangement: Keith Christopher

"Hymn to the Fallen"2 
Composer: John Williams

"Battle Hymn of the Republic"1,3
Composer: William Steffe
Lyrics: Julia Ward Howe
Arrangement: Peter J. Wilhousky

  1. On the CD Spirit of America.
  2. On the CD Showtime! Music of Broadway and Hollywood.
  3. On the CDs Homeward BoundAmerica's Choir: Favorite Songs, Hymns, & Anthemsand also on the CD set 100 Years: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence.

Spoken Word

"Honoring Our Heroes"

On February 3, 1943, the U.S. Army troopship Dorchester, part of a naval convoy, steamed steadily across the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean en route to World War II's European front. On board were 900 soldiers trained at military facilities like this one, Camp Williams, in Utah. The seas were rough, and the stretch was treacherous; German submarines were known to lurk below in what was called "torpedo alley."

At 12:55 a.m. a German submarine fired three torpedoes at the Dorchester. One ripped into the middle of the ship, and it swiftly began to sink. Chaos erupted on board. Several soldiers were killed; several more were injured. Some men jumped overboard. Four army chaplains-Protestant ministers George Fox and Clark Poling, Catholic priest John Washington, and Jewish rabbi Alexander Goode-were among the first to reach the top deck. Doing what chaplains do, they immediately began providing comfort, guidance, and hope. Calmly and systematically they distributed life jackets and, when the supply ran out, took off their own life jackets, handed them to the panicked soldiers, and pointed them to waiting lifeboats.

As the ship slid beneath the surface, soldiers in lifeboats caught one last look at the chaplains standing on the hull of the ship, arm-in-arm, praying. Rescue ships pulled 230 to safety that night, but almost 700 died.

The four chaplains were not among the survivors.

John Ladd, one of the survivors who witnessed the chaplains' selfless acts, later said, "It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven."1

As we honor those who gave their lives in service to our country, we remember that faith and selflessness are fundamental to honorable living. Their examples teach us where faith and selflessness lead and what courage, compassion, and sacrifice really mean. May we recognize and value these qualities in others and strive to develop them in ourselves.

1. See "The Saga of the Four Chaplains,"