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Fort Hood: 3-8 Cavalry Regiment Memorial Ceremony and Latin Mass


Fort Hood: 3-8 Cavalry Regiment
Memorial Ceremony and Latin Mass

On November 2nd, approximately 85 Fort Hood Soldiers, civilians and Family members observed a solemn memorial tribute to the 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers who fell at the battle of Unsan, North Korea, 1-3 November, 1950.

After attacking north to relieve South Korean Army elements along the Sino-Korean border, the 8th Cavalry Regiment found themselves surrounded by more than 40,000 Communist Chinese Forces and were ordered to retrograde to a more advantageous defensive position.

The 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment was the last to withdraw, losing nearly 600 men while inflicting thousands of casualties upon the CCF. As the last Soldiers prepared to fall back, the unit chaplain, Captain Emil Kapaun decided to remain with the wounded, even though this meant certain capture.

Father Kapaun was indeed captured, and ministered to his fellow prisoners of war valiantly through the harsh Korean winter. He stole food for them, cared for their wounds, and offered prayers and encouragement from his Catholic faith. Many POWs died during this time, and Father Kapaun gave them provisional Christian burials. Emil Kapaun himself succumbed to the harsh conditions of imprisonment and died on May 23rd, 1951. On April 23rd, 2013, Chaplain Kapaun was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Immediately following the short military ceremony conducted on the grounds of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Chaplain (Captain) Lito Amande, US Army Garrison, Ft. Hood, offered a Roman Catholic Mass on the hood of a Korean War era Jeep just as Father Kapaun would have in 1950. Praying the Traditional Latin Mass on the feast of All Souls Day, Father Amande wore black vestments, and offered the Mass for the souls of the faithful departed, especially for those Soldiers who fell in battle.

The Traditional Latin Mass is the form of Roman Catholic worship used in the Latin Rite since the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great (d. 604 A.D.) until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) when Rome allowed a period of liturgical experimentation that resulted in the current form of Mass prayed in the vernacular. The Traditional Latin Mass prayed by Father Emil Kapaun is offered on Fort Hood at the Old Post Chapel (building number 53) each Sunday at 3 PM.

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Photos & story: Amy Proctor
(c)2015  Amy Proctor, Imago Dei Photography

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