Grand Marshal of Memorial Day Parade in DC is Jimmy Doolittle’s Co-Pilot

L1/Japan, Tokyo Raid/1942/pho 12

The National Memorial Day Parade starts at 2 p.m. Monday in Washington, DC. If you’re able to attend, you should go (if not this year, in the future.) It will air live on Reelz, The Pentagon Channel and News Channel 8 (in DC.) The parade will stream live on Military.com and DVIDS.

LTC Richard Cole will be the Grand Marshal of the Parade. Dick Cole was born in 1915 in Dayton, Ohio. The last reunion of the Doolittle Raiders was in April 2013. The only surviving members besides Cole are LTC Robert L. Hite,
LTC Edward Joseph Saylor, and SSG David J. Thatcher.

From DoolittleRaider.com:

Graduated from Steele high School, Dayton, Ohio and completed two years college at Ohio University. Enlisted November 22, 1940. Completed pilot training and commissioned as Second Lieutenant, July, 1941. Remained in China-Burma-India after Tokyo Raid until June 1943, and served again in the China-Burma-India Theater from October, 1943 until June, 1944. Relieved from active duty in January, 1947 but returned to active duty in August 1947. Was Operations Advisor to Venezuelan Air Force from 1959 to 1962. Peacetime service in Ohio, North Carolina, and California. Rated as command pilot. Decorations include Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Chinese Army, Navy, Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.

I lived in Columbia, South Carolina during the 60th reunion in 2002 and got to attend some events associated with that. I also was fortune to meet and talk with Doolittle Raiders LTC Horace Ellis Crouch and MAJ Nolan Anderson Herndon at a military appreciation night at a minor league baseball game in 2001. Initial preparations for the raid started at Lexington Army Airbase (current location of the Columbia Airport) before the training moved to Eglin.

Other participants in the parade include Gary Sinise, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, J.R. Martinez, Rita Cosby, Kirsten Haglund, Eoin Macken, and Jill Flint.

Memorial Day: Remembering Father Emil Kapaun

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From Wikipedia:

Emil Joseph Kapaun (April 20, 1916 – May 23, 1951) was a Roman Catholic priest and United States Army chaplain who died as a prisoner of war in the Korean War. For his wartime activities, the Roman Catholic Church has declared him a Servant of God, the first stage on the path to sainthood. On April 11, 2013, President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to Captain Chaplain Kapaun for his actions on November 1–2, 1950 in Korea. He is the ninth American military chaplain Medal of Honor recipient.

There are currently two possible miracles being investigated as part of the cause for Fr. Kapaun’s sainthood. He is also being considered for designation as a martyr. It’s the sacrifice made by men like Father Emil Kapaun that causes many living veterans to get upset when many mistakenly treat Memorial Day as if it is the same as Veterans Day.

Besides the information below, visit FrKapaun.org and the U.S. Army’s web page on Kapaun.

kapaun-moh

From his Medal of Honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy at Unsan, Korea, from November 1-2, 1950. On November 1, as Chinese Communist Forces viciously attacked friendly elements, Chaplain Kapaun calmly walked through withering enemy fire in order to provide comfort and medical aid to his comrades and rescue friendly wounded from no-man’s land. Though the Americans successfully repelled the assault, they found themselves surrounded by the enemy. Facing annihilation, the able-bodied men were ordered to evacuate. However, Chaplain Kapaun, fully aware of his certain capture, elected to stay behind with the wounded. After the enemy succeeded in breaking through the defense in the early morning hours of November 2, Chaplain Kapaun continually made rounds, as hand-to-hand combat ensued. As Chinese Communist Forces approached the American position, Chaplain Kapaun noticed an injured Chinese officer amongst the wounded and convinced him to negotiate the safe surrender of the American Forces. Shortly after his capture, Chaplain Kapaun, with complete disregard for his personal safety and unwavering resolve, bravely pushed aside an enemy soldier preparing to execute Sergeant First Class Herbert A. Miller. Not only did Chaplain Kapaun’s gallantry save the life of Sergeant Miller, but also his unparalleled courage and leadership inspired all those present, including those who might have otherwise fled in panic, to remain and fight the enemy until captured. Chaplain Kapaun’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the United States Army.

From an Army narrative, here are details of his time as a prisoner of war:

After he was captured, Kapaun and other prisoners were marched for several days northward toward prisoner-of-war camps. During the march Kapaun led by example in caring for injured Soldiers, refusing to take a break from carrying the stretchers of the wounded while encouraging others to do their part.

Once inside the dismal prison camps, Kapaun risked his life by sneaking around the camp after dark, foraging for food, caring for the sick, and encouraging his fellow Soldiers to sustain their faith and their humanity. On at least one occasion, he was brutally punished for his disobedience, being forced to sit outside in subzero weather without any garments. When the Chinese instituted a mandatory re-education program, Kapaun patiently and politely rejected every theory put forth by the instructors. Later, Kapaun openly flouted his captors by conducting a sunrise service on Easter morning, 1951.

When Kapaun began to suffer from the physical toll of his captivity, the Chinese transferred him to a filthy, unheated hospital where he died alone. As he was being carried to the hospital, he asked God’s forgiveness for his captors, and made his fellow prisoners promise to keep their faith. Chaplain Kapaun died in captivity on May 23, 1951.

Kapaun’s military awards:

Medal of Honor (upgraded from Distinguished Service Cross)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device
Purple Heart
Prisoner of War Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal with Japan Clasp
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars
Combat Infantryman Badge
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
United Nations Korea Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal

Watch a trailer for a documentary about Fr. Kapaun below:

Prayer for Intercession

Father Emil Kapaun gave
glory to God by following
his call to the priesthood and
thus serving the people of Kansas
and those in the military.

Father Kapaun, I ask your
intercession not only for these needs
which I mention now. . .but that I
too may follow your example of
service to God and my neighbor.

For the gifts of courage in battle
and perseverance of faith,
we give you thanks O Lord.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary,
and one Glory Be.

Billboard calls for banning bacon at Allentown ballpark

ironpigs

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are a minor league baseball team in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Recently, a billboard with this design appeared in the area:
bacon-billboard

 

WFMZ has more:

Bacon is up to bat; the pork product is the topic of a billboard campaign launched in Allentown.

A non-profit says bacon is a foul ball at Coca Cola Park, but IronPigs officials tell 69 News they’re not going down swinging.

The meat has a leading role at Coca-Cola Park with bacon hats, bacon plushies and pins, even bacon scented t-shirts available.

“I think we are glorifying bacon,” laughed IronPigs president and general manager Kurt Landes. “In a fun way, in a very unique goofy way.”

Fans enjoy coming to pig out, but a Washington D.C. based non-profit warns bacon may strike them out.

A billboard just went up along Tilghman Street in Allentown showing slices of bacon inside a pack of cigarettes. The large sign reads, “Keep kids safe, ban bacon from ballparks.”

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the baseball team’s promotion of bacon is excessive.

“This over the top messaging, positive messaging about a really unhealthy food is just not consistent with American values,” explained Dr. Anne Bunner, associate director of clinical research for the group.

Not consistent with American values? What cave has she been living in?

One PCRM doctor wrote a letter to the Mayor of Allentown that said, among other things:

 I’m hoping you will join me in asking the IronPigs to stop glorifying bacon before they strike out members of your community – for good.

A dietitian affiliated with the group sent a letter to the team owners:

As a dietitian who has seen the toll that cancer, heart disease, and diabetes have taken on our country, I’m asking you to stop glorifying bacon before you strike out your fans– for good. Ban the bacon and hit a home run for health.

I knew the IronPigs had been “glorifying bacon”  before with the uniforms and some other things but I had forgotten. I’ll have to go buy some of their items online that glorify bacon and I’ll be sure to get to Allentown for a game as soon as I can. I encourage anyone reading this to do the same. Thanks to PCRM for reminding me to eat more bacon.

Memorial Day: Senator Cornyn gets it right

graves
(Photo Copyright 2008, Jeff Quinton)

I’ve talked about other people who get it wrong in thinking this weekend is a time to thank or honor living veterans. People who say “Happy” Memorial Day are in the same category. There have been politicians and elected officials on Facebook already this weekend telling people to thank a veteran as well. I already pointed out why the distinction between the solemn observances for Memorial Day compared to the other military-related holidays. Additionally, I pointed out someone who politicized Memorial Day already.

Fortunately, there are some elected officials who get it. John Cornyn is one of them based on the following post he made Friday:

If the embed below from Google+ doesn’t work for you, I’ve included the text below it:


The text:

On this Memorial Day and every day of the year, may we honor the hopefulness of the heroes we have lost by practicing their selflessness, their determination, and their commitment to excellence. May we support their families who have served on the home front, and may we live each day with gratitude for our freedoms and for the men and women who gave everything to make those freedoms possible.

It’s Memorial Day, not Veterans Day (and why that distinction is important)

gold-star

I wrote yesterday about people who are ignorant, perhaps willfully so in some cases, about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. I even wrote about one case of where someone politicized Memorial Day. I’ll echo what other veterans have said: don’t thank me this weekend. Remember the fallen and thank their families.

Debbie Lee, a Gold Star Mother and founder of America’s Mighty Warriors writes:

You can imagine the pain and frustration to the friends and families of these fallen heroes when the majority of Americans are clueless as to the real meaning of Memorial Day. Our loved ones gave their final breath so that you could enjoy all of the freedoms and blessings that you have in America. All we ask is that as a nation we come together this weekend and acknowledge, honor and remember our heroes.

I have been on a campaign for years trying to educate people about the history and meaning of Memorial Day what it is and what it is not! It is not a time to “Celebrate Memorial day”, it is not “Happy Memorial Day.”  I am sure that ignorance plays a part in the party mentality of the 3-day weekend. We see major advertising about big “blow out” sales, advertisements to “kick off your summer”, prepare for the big bar-b-ques and camping trips and parades. Many families know it marks the end of the school year and the community pools will be opening.

I was part of that ignorant group for years. I wasn’t taught the real meaning of Memorial Day. Oh we visited a few graves through the years and placed flowers on the graves of family members who had died in child-birth, from sickness and different causes. Most of the time it was just a family gathering with picnics and bar-b ques enjoying all of the freedoms that we have but not reflecting on those who paid the ultimate price so we could enjoy them. I was not taught, and I am sorry for the opportunities that were missed to honor our fallen, and focus on the sacrifices made for me.

Often times people mistakenly recognize and thank all of those who have served. Veterans Day is the National Holiday when we do that. I’ve dedicated my life to honoring and thanking our troops 24/7 364 days of the year, but Memorial Day is for those who died in war.

Lee’s son, Marc A. Lee, was a Navy SEAL killed in Iraq in 2006.

“The days of socially acceptable Christianity are over”

robert-george

Last week, Princeton University Professor Robert George spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. My good friend Bill Saunders introduces Professor George.

Excerpts from his remarks:

During his presentation, Professor George spoke about the reality of the persecution of pro-life and pro-family conservatives. He said, “The days of socially acceptable Christianity are over, the days of comfortable Catholicism are past. It is no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an authentic witness to the truths of the Gospel.”
 
Professor George concluded by saying, “We can no longer be comfortable. It is for us a time of trial, a time of testing by adversity…. We will experience fear, just as the apostles did—that is inevitable…. By the grace of Almighty God, Easter is indeed coming. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel. Never be ashamed of the Gospel.”

The Patron Saint of Bloggers

saint-paul

I just recently learned that St. Paul is the patron saint of bloggers. Since he’s the patron saint of writers that makes sense.  St. Paul is also my patron saint and I took his  name as my confirmation name when I came into the Catholic Church in 2012.

I am writing this post to point out that I will be focusing more on Catholic and pro-life issues in my blogging. It was something I felt led to do earlier this year but I didn’t really get around to doing it properly. I’m feeling the strong call now for that now, so you will see more blogging on Catholic issues here – especially pro-life ones.

St. Paul’s feast day is June 29. Read more in his biography

Prayer to Saint Paul the Apostle

O Glorious Saint Paul, after persecuting the Church you became by God’s grace its most zealous Apostle. To carry the knowledge of Jesus, our divine Savior, to the uttermost parts of the earth you joyfully endured prison, scourgings, stonings, and shipwreck, as well as all manner of persecutions culminating in the shedding of the last drop of your blood for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Obtain for us the grace to labor strenuously to being the faith to others and to accept any trials and tribulations that may come our way. Help us to be inspired by your Epistles and to partake of your indomitable love for Jesus, so that after we have finished our course we may join you in praising him in heaven for all eternity. Amen.