During a beautiful White House Ceremony, President Obama posthumously awarded Father Emil Kapaun a Medal of Honor for his courage under fire in providing comfort to his fellow soldiers while in a Korean POW camp. The following day, the Pentagon held a separate ceremony that included remarks from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Army Secretary John McHugh, and Army Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno. Video of the White House ceremony is below, with the Pentagon ceremonyfollowing that.
White House Ceremony Part 1:
White House Ceremony Part 2:
Induction into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes:
About Fr. Kapaun
Born: April 20,1916 in Pilsen, KS
Died: May 23, 1951
Organization: United States Army (8th Cavalry Regiment)
Years of Service: 1944-1951
Other Awards: Distinguished Service Cross,
Legion of Merit, Purple Heart,
Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor,
Combat Infantryman's Badge,
Korean Service Medal, National Defense Medal,
United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential
Unit Citation, Republic of Korea Service Medal
and World War II Victory Medal
Today, the White House announced that Fr. Emil Kapaun will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
On April 10, 2013, Congressman Pompeo gave the following speech on the House Floor, recognizing the life of Father Kapaun and the hard work of his family, friends, and admirers to ensure his sacrifice would be properly honored.
"That good man, a fellow named Father Emil Kapaun, served as a military chaplain during World War II and again in September 1948,
this time entering the Korean battlefield with his unit, the 3d Battalion of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, of the 1st Cavalry Division.
There we saw what comes of a good man when placed in dangerous times. Fr. Kapaun became a hero."
In April 2011, Congressman Pompeo testified before the House Armed Services Committee on behalf of Fr. Kapaun.
"It was a chance for me to tell him Father Kapaun's story, which I did. I explained how important
this is to the folks in Kansas, and I explained that it's hard to imagine a human
being more qualified for the honor."
Please enjoy this short video that features some of Fr. Kapaun's memorabilia.
For further information on Fr. Emil Kapaun's history and accomplishments please visit: