Kansas Korean War Veterans Associations dedicates plaque to Father Emil Kapaun

In this undated photo provided by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Father Emil Kapaun holds out a broken pipe. The plain-spoken, pipe-smoking chaplain is receiving the Medal of Honor posthumously for his “extraordinary heroism” while serving as an Army chaplain during the Korean War. He died in captivity in 1951 _ about six months after being taken prisoner. (AP Photo/Courtesy Catholic Diocese of Wichita)

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WICHITA, Kansas — Dozens of people took part in a ceremony in Wichita to remember and to honor Korean War hero Father Emil Kapaun in wake of the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

A Plaque is dedicated to Father Emil Kapaun at the Korean War Memorial in Wichita.

“Anytime we get a Medal of Honor winner from the Korean War we make sure we get it on here,” said Howard Runft, President of the Kansas Korean War Veterans Association Wichita Chapter.

President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to the nephew of Father Kapaun in April.

The award recognizes the chaplain for his bravery and heroic act during the Korean War.

“It’s just difficult when you read the plaque of the entrance over here of the causalities and things that happened you know?” said Runft.  “The Father Kapaun incident today you just hear that all the time from these guys.”

Prisoners of wars recounted their stories saying that Father Kapaun risked his own life to save wounded soldiers from the battle lines.

Father Kapaun spread the message of hope, faith, and courage to wounded soldiers during time of despair.

Dozens of Korean War veterans hope to convey that message and memory to the younger generation.

“We do have a group within our group down here that goes out to talk to schools, lions club, to churches, and we have kind of a panel of 4 that explains what we did and ask any questions that they may have about it,” said Runft.

“I wish more people were aware of the Korean War and that it never happens again because so many innocent people were killed in both sides of the islands,” said Iee Nee Yoon, served in the U.S. Navy.

The Diocese of Wichita has been overseeing the efforts to promote Father Kapaun to sainthood.

The plaque at the Korean War Memorial was paid for by the Korean War Veterans Association.

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