Vietnamese / Japanese Ambassadors & Minnesota Senator Wellstone to Honor Recipients of the 2001 Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity

Sunday, February 4, 2001
2:00 - 4:00 pm
hosted by Hamline University, St. Paul at the Anne Simley Theater.


The Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity presented to:

Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. - U.S. helicopter pilot in Vietnam, who on 16 March 1968, halted the further massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai by placing his helicopter and his crew's guns between rampaging American troops and defenseless Vietnamese civilians.  He and his crew, Glenn Andreotta and Larry Colburn, noticed that there were many civilians apparently dead on the ground as "Charlie Company" swept into the hamlets and rice fields.  The crew saw mothers, babies and old men blown to pieces by GI guns at point blank range.  Thompson set his chopper down and confronted the ground soldiers.  Thompson risked his life and entered a bunker to rescue the remaining terrified villagers.  All three men received the Soldier's Medal from the U.S. Army in 1998.

Pastor Martin Niemoeller, a former U-boat Commander in WWI, who went into the Lutheran Church following that War and co-founded  "The Confessing Church" to counter the move by Hitler who manipulated the established Church for Nazi purposes. Niemoeller had a face to face heated confrontation with Hitler in 1934 in the presence of 15 Churchmen and was the lone voice of dissent. His public outcry from his Church pulpit outraged Hitler who imprisoned him in Dachau Concentration Camp. He was ironically rescued from SS execution by a German Army General who turned him over to the Americans in Northern Italy. Dr. Heinz Niemoeller, son of the Pastor, will travel from Germany to accept the Prize in his father's memory.

Traveling from Washington were Japan's Ambassador, His Excellency Shunji Yanai , a member of the Prize for Humanity Nominating Committee, who introduced the Honorees -- and His Excellency Le Van Bang, Ambassador from Vietnam, who paid homage to Thompson, his crew and the memory of the 504 villagers who perished at the My Lai massacre.  Minnesota U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone presented the Prize to the son and great-grandson of Pastor Martin Niemoeller.
 

The Host for the event, Hamline University , is Minnesota's first operating University, founded in 1854. It serves a diverse student body of more than 3,300 degree-seeking students and 8000 professionals in continuing education. More information can be obtained by visiting the University website at: www.Hamline.edu.

The Foundation Board 

A Minnesota Non-Profit Organization
Not Affiliated With the Chapel of  Four Chaplains, PA