ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. - As the group of soldiers respectfully proceeded toward the Tomb of the Unknowns, sunshine and emotion could be felt during a wreath laying observing the 238th anniversary of the Army Chaplain Corps July 23.
To honor men of God who were lost during hostilities and all fallen service members, a pair of chaplains worked in unison to lay the wreath arrangement at the tomb. Representing the Army's spiritual corps at the morning ceremony were Chief of Chaplains Maj. Gen. Donald L. Rutherford, and Sgt. Maj. Stephen A. Stott, Chaplain Corps regimental sergeant major.
"I think it is one of the greatest things I get to do," Stott said of his privilege of laying the wreath. "This is the third time I've done it. It commemorates those who have gone before us and world-grade heroes who we were unable to identify. Look at the heroes around us. Today, we had with us two POWs from Korea, who were with [Army chaplain] Emil Kapaun who got the Medal of Honor."
A memorial mass for Kapaun, a Catholic priest turned Korean War prisoner of war who died in captivity, was offered at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's Memorial Chapel which preceded the wreath laying.
"Every year I do this [the wreath laying]; it is a great honor," Rutherford said. "The reason I became a [chaplain] was to serve chaplains and to help chaplains serve God in terms of bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God."