The Dear Reader: DPRK Observations & Musings


Korean War Hero Sparks Solo Midwestern March

On September 11th, 2011John Moore departed Gallup, New Mexico on foot carrying a large wooden cross on his back. Exactly two months later, Veteran’s Day, he arrived at his destination of Pilsen, Kansas.

CNS Photo/Joseph Kolb

Per a report in the Catholic Register, the purpose of this unusual march was to focus attention on Father Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain credited with saving the lives of dozens of U.S. soldiers during the Korean War before dying as a POW captive himself in North Korea.

Ideally, Moore and other supporters of Kapaun‘s legacy would like to see the priest posthumously receive both a Congressional Medal of Honor and sainthood from the Vatican. Although a campaign in support of the latter began several years ago with a dedicated mass ceremony in Pilsen, it is the former that seems most likely. Which begs the question–how did a 61-year-old man from Gallup get caught up in the cause? From Joseph J. Kolb‘s article:

Moore said he became aware of Father Kapaun after reading a small article about the priest in the Knights of Columbus magazine last year and quickly became immersed in the saga of a man who served his country and men in the most deplorable of conditions…

Quick to recognize the efforts of Moore is Hershey Miyamura of Gallup, a Medal of Honor recipient and a former POW. Miyamura, who has read about Father Kapaun, agrees the priest deserves the medal. He also feels Moore‘s efforts go above and beyond the call.

The cross Moore carried was made from an alligator juniper tree from Heber, Arizona and built by a retired Albuquerque firefighter, Mark Chavez. Its design was provided by a fellow POW, the late Gerald Fink.

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Filed under: News

2 Responses

  1. Victoria says:

    This post left me wanting more, so I searched and found a large photo which shows the detail of the cross, and also a photo of Moore on his trek. This is available on the web site of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, where there is also a link to a dedicated site for the canonization process. You can find more details there on Father Kapaun’s life and the circumstances of his death. Here is the link:
    Richard, I’m waiting for your thoughts on the death of Kim Jong-il and his young successor.

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