Pennsylvania Vietnam Veteran Plants Hundreds of American Flags in Emotional Tribute of Friends Who Died in 9/11: VIDEO

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

When it comes to remembering 9/11, a Vietnam veteran in Pennsylvania takes American flags and displays them at his home.

Joe Caracappa, who lives in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., puts out close to 350 flags each year. Caracappa, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, especially remembers two firefighters and one police officer who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

“A couple of my friends were killed up at 9/11 that I served in Vietnam with,” he said in an interview with WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. “They knew they had a job to do. They didn’t care what was going on. That was their job to go rescue.”

Those flags represent firefighters and police officers who lost their lives while saving others on 9/11. Take a look at this video from WPVI-TV and see how Caracappa remembers those who died on that day.

Veteran Received Purple Heart, Navy Commendation For Saving Life

But Caracappa also knows about sacrifice in his own background. He was over in Vietnam for 13 months and served in the Marine Corps between 1967-70.

The military veteran received a Purple Heart and a Navy Commendation Medal, the TV station said, for saving another serviceman’s life. Caracappa returned home, worked for the U.S. Postal Service, and started a painting business.

Now retired, Caracappa is involved with his community. He also shows support for all people who serve the United States military.

“A lot of people come by, they stop, they look, they take pictures, bless themselves,” the Vietnam veteran said about his 9/11 tribute. “And if people ask me for flags, I give it to them free, no charge.”

Deep Sense of Patriotism Serves Him Well When Doing Tribute

People around his Roxborough neighborhood know him for that deep sense of patriotism that runs in his veins.

“Joe always puts flags everywhere in the neighborhood, but this is a special day for him,” neighbor Linda Avila said.

In getting to Caracappa’s home, much larger American flags are put out to guide the way toward his home. Passersby can take their time to reflect and gather their thoughts about 9/11.

“You can’t do enough for these people,” Ginny Caracappa, Joe’s wife, said. “They were innocent, good people, and it’s always in my mind. We want the younger generation to know and to feel what we feel.”

He was asked how long he planned on putting the American flags out. This veteran didn’t stumble for words. Caracappa said, “Until the day I die.”

On Saturday, larger tributes are planned for cities and sporting events around the United States. New York City plans on a special remembrance of 9/11 in honoring those who died on that horrific day. Teams from college to pros also will pay their respects.