Chaplain (Major General) Donald Rutherford, U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains, delivered the invocation and benediction at the Medal of Honor ceremony Thursday for Father Emil Kapaun. Here is the text of his prayers as provided by the Army:Invocation
Chase Kear does not seem at first glance to be the poster boy for a Vatican investigation involving sainthood. He chews a little dip, hits targets at turkey shoots, listens to country music when he rolls. In his Facebook profile photo he dresses the part of a halfnaked bandito in a sombrero. He’s a self-described redneck; also foolish and drunk and stupid at times in the past, he says, though less so since his accident.
The POWs in the Pyoktong prison camp began a cloaked and daring effort to save Emil Kapaun’s life. On a rise above them stood the remains of a Buddhist monastery; the guards called it a hospital, but POWs called it "The Death House." The Chinese sometimes killed prisoners by isolating them there from food and help. The POWs knew that’s where Kapaun might end up.
By February 1951 the Allied prisoners at Pyoktong, North Korea, were dying so fast on ground frozen so solid that unburied bodies lay in stacks three to four feet high, 30 to 40 yards long. Men hoarded food or stole it from the weak, and left sick men to die in their own defecation.
Three weeks after their capture, after 75 miles of marching, the starving survivors of the 8th Cavalry and 19th Infantry straggled into a mud-hut village called Pyoktong, on the banks of the Yalu River, two miles from Manchuria.
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