A 96-year-old World War II veteran rose from his wheelchair at the the U.S. Women’s National Team game against Mexico on Sunday, and played a stirring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner on his harmonica.
Pete DuPre’, also known as “Harmonica Pete,” wore a WWII veteran hat and Team USA soccer shirt. After playing the national anthem, DuPre’ smiled and waved to the crowd at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, before returning to his wheelchair.
— ESPN (@espn) May 26, 2019
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) May 27, 2019
“The audience grew respectably silent throughout the majority of the expertly carried-out song, but were unable to contain their cheers as the last bars played,” People magazine reported.
According to a statement from the USWNT via NJ.com, “During WWII, DuPré served as a medic in the 114th General Hospital Unit in Kidderminster, England. At age 17, both of his parents had already died, making him the acting patriarch of a five-person family.
“Within a year, Pete had enlisted in the Army serving three years overseas during which time he treated wounded servicemen from all areas of Europe.”
The U.S. women will play their first World Cup game on June 11th when they take on Thailand in Reims, France.
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