Bay Ridge Home Reporter, March 2, 1962– Fort Hamilton dedicates new post chapel

Religious ceremonies marking the dedication of the new post chapel at Fort Hamilton will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the chapel site on Grimes Road and Marshall Drive.

Maj. Gen. Frank A. Tobey, chief of army chaplains, will be the principal speaker and deliver the Dedicatorial Address. He will be introduced by Col. John K. Daly, post commander.

“Never before has our nation been blessed with such abundant opportunity and so strongly challenged to find the key that will unlock the hearts of our young soldiers to an appreciation of the moral and spiritual values undergirding the American dream,” says Gen. Tobey. “Let’s continue to give ourselves to this effort of enhancing America’s spiritual faith.”

Fort Hamilton personnel rehearse for the 1951 Easter sunrise service. Brooklyn Daily Eagle photographs, Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History

The tri-denominational service is under the direction of Maj. Louis Barish, post chaplain, and his assistants, chaplains Maj. Albert S. Marchiano and Capt. David C. Koch.

Other participating chaplains are: Col. Charles E. McGee, First U.S. Army Chaplain, who will give the invocation; Col. William J. Reiss, U.S. Continental Army Command Chaplain, who will give the Dedicatorial Prayer; and Col. Aryeh Lev, First Army Mobilization Chaplain, who will close the service with the Benediction.

The new, modern brick-veneer structure overlooking the Narrows replaces the cantonment-type chapel built in 1941 … It is believed that this was the first chapel built at this historic fort since it was founded in 1825. This chapel is being demolished due to the reconstruction program at this fort to make way for the approaches to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The first recorded religious service held on the ground that is now Fort Hamilton was an Easter Sunrise Service in 1802. The Easter Sunrise Service has been an annual tradition sponsored by the post since its inception in 1825. Civilian clergymen who acted as chaplains for the area – no army chaplain was assigned to the fort until a much later date – brought together civilians and soldiers in common worship at this awe-inspiring service.


(Special thanks to Brooklyn Public Library)

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