Skip to comments.Father Emil Kapaun: As hundreds die, Kapaun rallies the POWs (Part 4)
Posted on 12/09/2009 9:02:44 PM PST by GonzoII
People whose ambitions are confined to the limits of earthly things would be confounded at the beatitude on meekness. Father Emil Kapaun
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.
Many soldiers were in their teens and early 20s, not mature enough to deal with that level of suffering. Father Emil Kapaun never yelled at them; he let his actions speak.
When men fought over who should dig out latrines, Kapaun dug out latrines. When men argued, Kapaun mediated. When men despaired, Kapaun cracked jokes, said little prayers.
On the farm in Kansas, his father, Enos, had taught him to make or fix nearly anything with his hands. He put those hands to use.
Kapaun watched feeble men carrying water for the camp in two leather bags hanging from a stick draped across their backs. The leaky bags lost half their contents before the POWs could bring them home. One day the bags stopped leaking; Mike Dowe, curious, asked what had happened. Other POWs said theyd watched Kapaun melt down an old rubber boot and make hot patches for the buckets.
He gave away nearly everything he had, even his own food; when he had no food to give, he gave words.
Al Brooks, on a wood detail one day, walked past and saw him grin. God bless you, Kapaun said. Brooks never forgot him saying it, or how those three words lifted him. After 59 years, Brooks still chokes up describing that moment.
(Excerpt) Read more at kansas.com ...
A true American. I am proud to say that the local Catholic academia named after him in his honor, is located here in Wichita.
I also wanted to say that Kapaun-Mt. Carmel high school was an intense rivalry in Football with my alma-mater, Wichita East!
God bless them!
Bump for the chaplain!
Pro Deo et Patria
God’s blessings on all chaplains. The legacy of their leadership and spirituality in extreme circumstances, evident in Chaplain (Father) Kapaun, inspires our current chaplains to uphold that tradition.
What a great story!
Reading this series fills me with hatred for the scumbag heathen Chinese.