The U.S. Women’s National Team was in the spotlight recently when they beat Mexico 3-0 in an exhibition match. And although they were the star of the game, it was a man named Pete DuPré who stole the show.
ESPN shared a video on May 26, 2019, of the national anthem that’s performed before each game – but this was not your ordinary rendition of the song.
96-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPré walked over to center pitch just before Memorial Day to help entertain the excited crowd before the big match taking place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. He was going to play the beloved national anthem on his harmonica.
DuPré walked onto the field wearing a USA soccer shirt and a “World War II Veteran” hat. In respect of the crowd, he removed his cap to greet everyone and replaced it before beginning to play the first few notes of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
As DuPré–also known as “Harmonica Pete”–continued his performance, it’s clear that this gentleman is not only an incredible veteran but a very talented harmonica player.
The entire large crowd grew more and more silent as the veteran played on – hitting each note absolutely perfectly. His World War II hat is ever so poignant as he plays our nation’s song.
Even though the audience was respectfully silent and in complete awe of this 96-year-old talented man, they couldn’t contain their cheers as soon as DuPré reached the last few epic bars of the anthem. They were going absolutely wild – and when you see the performance for yourself below, you’ll know why!
After his tear-inducing, jaw-dropping rendition of the national anthem, DuPré humbly returned to his wheelchair, smiling and waving excitedly at the crowd.
Watch DuPré’s incredible harmonica performance in the video shared by ESPN below and continue reading to learn more about this amazing veteran who has lived a life of a thousand men.
— ESPN (@espn) May 26, 2019
There was another video of DuPré that was shared by USWNT that captured the veteran giving hugs to all the ladies on the team after victoriously winning their game.
It’s hard not to have so much love and respect for such an incredible man. Read a bit more of his life story after the sweet video.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) May 27, 2019
According to a USWNT statement given to 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 statement continued.
Of course, Sunday’s amazing performance wasn’t the first time DuPré has performed in front of a large crowd.
In January, DuPré performed with the USWNT team along with other World War II veterans on the beaches of Normandy, France.
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DuPré is truly an amazing veteran and gentleman and we’re so glad to have witnessed him perform. What a treat to have been able to witness his talented harmonica-playing in person. Thank you for your service, Mr. DuPré.