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Marines Dedicate New Chapel

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The new chapel stands overlooking the Marine Museum near the Quantico marine base.
Sabri Ben-Achour
The new chapel stands overlooking the Marine Museum near the Quantico marine base.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia has a new chapel, dedicated today.

The new chapel stands overlooking the Marine Museum near the Quantico marine base. Its high walls are mostly glass, its corners made of stacked stones. It's meant to be reminiscent of the improvised chapels marines would use in the field.

"Well, I've never seen one that fancy," said Jim Rogers, who served at Iwo Jima. "In the field we'd have a hut almost where we'd go to church."

Rogers came up for the chapel's dedication. So did Ben Craven, who joined the marines in 1957. He remembers how he and his fellow marines would have to make do aboard his battle ship. "We used the forks of a forklift for the altar, we had a palate on there spread with a sheet, and that was an altar," said Craven.

The new chapel is non-denominational, and a compass engraved on the floor allows worshipers to locate the east. Lieutenant General Ron Christmas said the space is really about being faithful to the memory of sacrifice, hence the name, Semper Fidelis Chapel.

"What Semper Fidelis means is being always faithful, to your God, family, country, corps and most especially to your fellow Marines," said Christmas.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports...


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