Many may not know the story of Capt. Emil Kapaun, also known as Father Kapaun, a Roman Catholic chaplain in the U.S. Army stationed in Korea who served in World War II. Awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award of valor in the U.S. military, on April 11, 2013, 60 years after his death, President Barack Obama states, “Father Kaupan has been called a shepherd in combat boots and his fellow soldiers who felt his grace and his mercy called him a saint, a blessing from God.”
With so many conversations revolving around present day North Korea and their threats of nuclear warfare, this is a great story of how one man transformed the lives of his comrades and foes. It also shows how standing for what you believe in and acting on that belief shall be rewarded, even posthumously. Take time to read Kapaun’s story as his life continues to inspire and shine as an example of true heroism. But also use his story as a beacon of hope, a hope that all it takes is one person to make a difference and an impact that can transcend time.
Are you that one person? Yes. Can you change and impact your family, community, generation? Yes. Will you leave a legacy for your children’s, children’s children to aspire to and be proud of as Ray Kaupan, Father Kaupan’s nephew, proudly proclaims the tales of his uncle’s sacrifice, beliefs, and selflessness? I believe you can if you so believe and follow your heart. “Father Kaupan’s life, I think, is a testimony to his human spirit, the power of faith, and reminds us of the good that we can do each and every day regardless of the most difficult of circumstances,” says President Obama.
Ordained in St. John’s chapel in Kansas in 1940, a 12 foot by 4 1/2 foot mural was created by Wendy Lewis and installed in St. John’s chapel in 2005 commemorating and honoring all that Father Kaupan professed, lived by, and put into action on a daily basis. Father Kaupan’s efforts have been so heralded that he is now being considered for canonization as a martyr.
How will you make a difference and how far are you willing to go to stand for what you believe in and help those in need? It starts with one person consciously making a decision to make a difference. The gesture may be small and more than likely, it will never be on the scale of the acts of heroism performed by Father Kaupan; but it’s effect will be just as great and may ultimately touch, change, and save the life of someone who will may make an impact as great, if not greater, than Father Kaupan.
singing – We got to make this world a better place…