September 4, 2020, was the 53rd anniversary of Father Capodanno’s heroic death. On this day in 1967, under heavy fire, he administered medical and spiritual attention to a wounded corpsman and the Marine he was assisting who were pinned down by an enemy machine gunner. Father Capodanno, the victim of 27 bullet wounds, died faithfully performing his final act as a good and faithful servant of God.
Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, people gathered to honor him both in the continental United States and abroad. Two events in particular were of special importance.
In Staten Island, NY, where Father Capodanno is buried, locals gathered together for a socially distant Mass and graveside memorial service. The event was held at the Church of Saint Peter at 6pm. Immediately following, attendees processed to the cemetery for the graveside service.
A second event took place in Gaeta, Italy. There the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), hosted a memorial service to honor the chaplain. The service took place in Vincent Capodanno Piazza, directly next to the monument built in his honor. Local Italian veterans associations, U.S. Navy Chaplains from the region, Italian military, as well as leading members of the community were present for the ceremony.