Watch as WWII veteran, 96, performs national anthem for captivated crowd

Pete DuPré gives incredible performance on harmonica

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group
Getty Images

WWII veteran "Harmonica Pete" DuPre waits to perform the national anthem on Sunday in Harrison, New Jersey (Elsa/Getty Images).

On Sunday, the U.S. women’s national soccer team took on Mexico in a friendly exhibition game in New Jersey. But it wasn’t the match that had everyone talking.

World War II veteran Pete DuPré, also known as “Harmonica Pete,” gave the crowd his rendition of the national anthem before the pre-Memorial Day game kicked off -- and to say it’s worth your 2 minutes, 44 seconds is a massive understatement.

You’ll get chills as you watch the reaction from the captivated crowd. Considering this took place at Red Bull Arena, a huge sporting venue, it sounded eerily quiet as audience members listened intently and took in the sights and sounds of the anthem.

The 96-year-old appears to use a wheelchair, but he was on his feet for the duration of the performance. He waves to the crowd at the end, and the moment is one for the ages.

The sweetness doesn’t stop there. Watch what the women's U.S. soccer team posted on Twitter after the game. DuPré is seen below hugging and shaking hands with the players as they board the bus. For what it's worth, the U.S. women won the exhibition game 3-0.

There aren't many men like DuPré left.

"We’re losing our World War II veterans at an alarming rate of about 348 per day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Of the more than 16 million Americans who served in World War II, fewer than 500,000 were still alive in 2018," the Washington Post reported Monday. "The youngest of these heroes are almost all in their mid- to late 90s at this point."

Learn more about DuPre's life on NJ.com.

Graham Media Group 2019