237th anniversary of Army Chaplain Corps celebrated
August 7, 2012
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall chaplains, along with chaplains from throughout the National Capital Region servicemembers, Families and friends gathered at Chaplains' Hill in Arlington National Cemetery July 27 for the 237th anniversary of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps. Chap. (Maj. Gen.) Donald Rutherford, the Army chief of chaplains, was the guest speaker at the event.
"This is one of the best jobs in the Army," said Rutherford. "We as chaplains present God to Soldiers, Soldiers to God and that is a great feeling. As chaplains, we care for religious needs and souls by bringing the peace of God to Soldiers and their Families."
Ending the ceremony, Rutherford, alongside Regimental Chaplain Corps Sgt. Maj. Stephen Stott, placed a wreath on the monument at Chaplains' Hill. A prayer was said as part of a spiritual reflection on the chaplains who served during combat times. Kevin O'Brien, a former Army Soldier, played "When the Battle's O'er" on bagpipes for the occasion, with the melody echoing through the hills of the cemetery.
"This is my second year being part of this traditional ceremony," said Stott. "It is an honor to be celebrating the lives of chaplains before me," he said.
After the ceremony, Family members were welcomed to Spates Community Club on the Fort Myer portion of JBM-HH, to enjoy a fellowship luncheon with live jazz music provided by The U.S. Army Band Downrange combo. Before lunch was served, Rutherford personally shook hands with all attendees after a blessing was placed on the food.
"I encourage all of you to look around and give thanks to God," he said.
Chaplains from the NCR brought their Families with them to honor the fallen. Chap. (Maj.) Philip Kramer, with the Accessions Soldier Unit at the Chief of Chaplains Office, brought his two young children Libby, 8, and Baur, 7, to share in this experience.
"This is a unique place to be part of our nation's history, I wanted my children to experience this great moment," said Kramer.
On July 27, 1775, General George Washington created the Chaplaincy authorizing one chaplain to service each regiment.