Resolution J1751-2013

Honoring Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, upon the occasion of his posthumous designation as the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor

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  • May 7, 2013: ADOPTED
  • May 7, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • May 3, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  honoring  Chaplain  (Captain)  Emil  J. Kapaun,
United States Army, upon the occasion of his posthumous  designation  as
the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor

  WHEREAS, Members of the Armed Forces, who have served so valiantly and
honorably, deserve a special salute from this Legislative Body; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body  is  justly  proud  to  honor
Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, United States Army, upon the occasion
of  his  posthumous  designation  as  the recipient of the Congressional
Medal of Honor; and
  WHEREAS, Emil Kapaun, a United States Army Chaplain  from  Kansas  who
faithfully  served  his  country during the Korean War, was posthumously
awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on April 11, 2013; this merito-
rious honor was accepted by his nephew Ray Kapaun; and
  WHEREAS, The Congressional Medal of  Honor  is  the  highest  military
medal  bestowed  by the United States; it is awarded for valor in action
against an enemy force; and
  WHEREAS, Father Kapaun was awarded the  medal  for  his  extraordinary
heroism  while serving with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st
Cavalry Division during combat operations  against  an  armed  enemy  at
Unsan, Korea, and as a prisoner of war from November 1-2, 1950; and
  WHEREAS,  After  the  Communist invasion of South Korea, Father Kapaun
was among the first American troops that  hit  the  beaches  and  pushed
their  way  north  through hard mountains and bitter cold; later on, the
Chinese forces entered the war  with  a  massive  surprise  attack  with
perhaps 20,000 enemy soldiers approaching a few thousand Americans; and
  WHEREAS,  In  the chaotic battle, Father Kapaun raced between foxholes
and beyond the front lines dragging  the  American  wounded  to  safety;
although his commanders ordered an evacuation, he chose to stay, gather-
ing the injured, and tending to their wounds; and
  WHEREAS,  When  the  enemy  broke  through the frontline, hand-to-hand
combat ensued and Father Kapaun  continued  to  comfort  the  dying  and
wounded; vastly outnumbered, he convinced the Chinese to stop firing and
negotiated  a  peaceful safe surrender, saving countless American lives;
and
  WHEREAS, Father Kapaun also carried his wounded comrades for miles, as
their captors forced them on a death march; in the deep  valley  of  the
camps during that winter, soldiers could freeze to death in their sleep,
and  Father Kapaun would offer them his own clothes; living in extremely
harsh conditions, he foraged in nearby fields returning  with  rice  and
potatoes,  pounded  metal  into  pots and boiled clean water, washed the
clothes of the injured along with cleaning their wounds; and
  WHEREAS, Never losing his faith, Father Kapaun  would  slip  into  the
huts  of comrades at night to lead fellow prisoners in prayer and admin-
istering sacraments; he died on May 23, 1951, in Pyongtong County, North
Pyongtan Province, North Korea; and
  WHEREAS, The valor honored is that of an American  soldier  who  never
fired  a  gun,  but  wielded  the mighty weapon of love for his comrades
which was so pure that he was willing to die so that  they  might  live;
and
  WHEREAS,  The  banner  of  freedom  will  always  wave over this great
Nation, the land of the free and the home of the brave; and
  WHEREAS, The freedoms and security we cherish as Americans come  at  a
very  high price for those serving in the military in times of conflict;
it is fitting and proper that we who are the beneficiaries of those  who
risk  their  lives,  leaving their families behind, express our appreci-

ation and eternal gratitude for their sacrifices  and  courageous  acts;
now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
honor Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun, United States  Army,  upon  the
occasion  of his posthumous designation as the recipient of the Congres-
sional Medal of Honor, and to pay tribute  to  him  for  his  courageous
actions; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun.

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