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 Roger Allen LaPorte

Roger Allen LaPorte

Geneva, Ontario County, New York, USA
Death 10 Nov 1965 (aged 22)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Tupper Lake, Franklin County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 79346906 · View Source
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Notable in his choice to give his life in an ant-war statement, 22-year-old Roger A. La Porte immolated himself on the United Nations Plaza. His bio was in the New York papers, as his death shared headlines with the Eastern States Blackout of November 9th. A week later, in Newsweek, he was characterized as a pacifist. His death can be researched on-line with American anti-war protesters and the Catholic Worker movement.

The young priest who accompanied Roger in the ambulance to Bellevue Hospital is the source for this quote: "I'm a Catholic Worker. I'm against war, all wars. I did this as a religious action." That priest also told family members who gathered at Bellevue that Roger then made "a perfect Confession" before losing consciousness on the way to the hospital. Fortunately, Roger never regained consciousness; he was horribly burned, with his lower limbs fused in place from the heat of the gasoline-fueled fire. Wrapped in bandages with holes for his eyes and nostrils, he lingered almost 24 hours till his life slipped away. To those who loved him, his life is much more than a Wikipedia entry, more than a footnote to the Vietnam War. As deeply as his family and friends still grieve for him, his true legacy to his contemporaries, and to future students of history, is his ability to elicit our empathy with his commitment and ultimate sacrifice.

Roger grew up serving Mass at St. Alphonsus Church. His dog would wait faithfully at the side door of the church, to walk the short distance home. His deep love for Catholicism led him to seek the Priesthood, but his efforts were thwarted. His family placed this inscription on his headstone: "In God Alone."

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  • Created by: video411
  • Added: 26 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 79346906
  • video411
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Roger Allen LaPorte (16 Jul 1943–10 Nov 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 79346906, citing Saint Alphonsus Cemetery, Tupper Lake, Franklin County, New York, USA ; Maintained by video411 (contributor 47412607) .