Monument Recognizes Father Kapaun

Father Emil Kapan, an Army chaplain who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for refusing to abandon troops during combat, has been recognized with a monument in South Korea, the country where he died more than six decades ago.

The four-foot monument, which reads, “He paid the ultimate sacrifice and consecrated the soul of Korea,” was unveiled on December 19 at Camp Walker, South Korea. It is the first memorial on the Korean peninsula for Father Kapaun, who died in a prisoner of war camp in May 1951 after being captured at Unsan the previous November. Although U.S. forces were surrounded and ordered to evacuate, the Roman Catholic priest stayed behind to comfort the wounded, despite the certainty of capture, and made rounds even as hand-to-hand combat broke out between U.S. and Chinese troops.