Those We Remember Today Include Buddhists
From Barbara O'Brien,
Memorial Day is set aside to honor Americans in the military who died in service to their country. Those so honored today include Buddhists. The photograph at right is of a Buddhist funeral at Arlington National Cemetery of a soldier killed in Iraq.
I do not know how many Buddhists are currently serving in the U.S. military. However, last year the Army began training its first Buddhist chaplain, Lt. Somya Malasri. According to Lt. Jeanette Shin, who blogs at Buddhist Military Sangha, during World War II the Buddhist Missions of North America petitioned the then-War Department to commission a Buddhist chaplain, but this request was denied. She says approximately half of the troops in World War II Japanese-American units such as the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Infantry were Buddhists.
Photo Caption: Buddhist Monk Thich Kien Khai prays in front of the casket of US Army Sgt. Yihiyh Chen at Arlington National Cemetery April 23, 2004. Sgt. Chen was killed in Baghdad.
Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Monday May 26, 2008