Chapel at Walter Reed Hospital
#NC-08180-WP - Notecards
serves as a memorial to the men and women who gave their lives
in the service of their country Ñ and as a living memorial to
the Gray Ladies of the Red Cross Volunteer Hospital Service. Named
after the gray dress or apron and gray veil they were instructed
to wear, the Gray Ladies deserve nearly all the credit for a decade
of planning and fundraising required to build the chapel.
the bill that authorized the chapel in February 1929, President
Calvin Coolidge said, "This is the finest thing I have ever
done." Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon set the cornerstone
in May 1930, and a year later the chapel was officially dedicated.
The first religious ceremony performed within the new chapel was
The gray stone
"Church of All Faiths" is reminiscent of those found
in the English countryside. Indeed, the five-lance stained glass
window above the marble altar was made in England. The sections
each have themes relevant to both religion and the military. Ten
other memorial windows also grace the chapel. Four gargoyles (two
holding rectors, representing Science, and two holding scrolls,
representing Religion) gaze out over the entire Army Medical Center
from the tower. Sharing that view are four gargoyles of Gray Ladies.
Everything in the chapel, from the foundation to the tower, is
© 1998 Terry White, Drawing © 1998 Bill Harrah