Skip to comments.Lloyd 'Pete' Bucher, commander of USS Pueblo, age 76, Laid to Rest in San Diego today - Feb 3, 2004
Posted on 01/29/2004 3:45:50 PM PST by NormsRevengeEdited on 04/13/2004 2:49:30 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
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Thank you Commander Bucher for your gallant service and very great sacrifice.
Three men who served under Bucher on the Pueblo helped carry his flag-draped casket to a wind-swept gravesite overlooking San Diego Bay at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. Bucher died on Jan. 28 at a nursing facility outside San Diego at age 76.
James Kell, who served under Bucher on the Pueblo, said in his eulogy that Bucher was a sailor's sailor who thought of others first.
"There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for the crew, starting with that fateful day on the 23rd of January, 1968," Kell told the audience at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Poway.
The lightly armed Pueblo was monitoring communist ship movements and intercepting messages in international waters near the North Korean coast when it was attacked by torpedo boats. One sailor was killed and 82 were taken prisoner. Some of them, including Bucher, were wounded.
After 11 months, the crew was released two days before Christmas, some of them crippled or nearly blind because of the brutality and malnourishment they endured.
"He was beaten more than anybody else," Kell said. "We were all beaten, we all were tortured. But he had it double, triple, quadruple what we got."
Bucher remained angry that the country he had risked his life for had not come to the aid of the Pueblo. "Everybody just forgot we were there," he told The Associated Press on the 20th anniversary of the ship's capture.
In his homily, Monsignor Joseph Finnerty said the trials and triumphs that marked Bucher's life paralleled those from the life of Jesus Christ, "who was also betrayed, abandoned, discouraged, spat upon, preyed upon."
Kell read the audience of friends, relatives, former shipmates and active members of the Navy a message from the actor Hal Holbrook, who portrayed Bucher in a 1973 TV film about the seizure of the Pueblo.
"Pete Bucher was a beautiful man, a patriot who loved his wife and his country and the men who served and endured with him have been an inspiration," Holbrook wrote. "I salute him from my heart."
I will chant the "In Paradisum" for him. I hope someone chanted it at the funeral Mass today. Often they don't these days and I think it is a beautiful chant.
Thanks for telling me about the Mass, it's good to here how many others thought highly of him.
He gave a VERY stirring presentation to us about love of country, love of God, duty and honor. He told of the torture he and his men endured.
He also spoke about the need for a personal relationship with Christ, and how that what what sustained him!
Things sure have turned for the worse in 30 years. Can you imagine the fit the ACLU would have if that were presented in a school today?
Members of a U.S. Navy (news - web sites) color guard carry the casket of Navy Cmdr. Lloyd Bucher as veterans pay their respects at his funeral at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004. Bucher was the captain of the USS Pueblo when it was captured by North Korea (news - web sites) in 1968.(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
We will NEVER FORGET the sacrifices made by brave men such as you and your crew, Sir.
Rest in peace, Patriot.
I suppose to them any time that they can humilate the US, it's news.