J1751

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

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  • 03 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 07 / May / 2013
    • REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • 07 / May / 2013
    • ADOPTED

Resolution Details

Versions:
J1751
Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative

text

J1751


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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