We’ve all heard “The Star-Spangled Banner” dozens of times in our lifetime, but we doubt you’ve ever heard anything quite as moving as the anthem performed on the harmonica.
Prior to a U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team match on May 26, 2019 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, 96-year-old Pete DuPre was wheeled onto the field where a microphone awaited him. He rose from his wheelchair and took his place, harmonica in hand, to perform tView Posthe national anthem. The crowd instantly went silent as DuPre began to play the familiar melody.
As the WWII veteran, affectionately known as Harmonica Pete, concluded his performance, the crowd erupted. DuPre returned to his wheelchair and waved to the crowd as he exited.
Harmonica Pete’s timely performance came one day before Memorial Day, the national holiday that allows Americans to stop and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. According to NJ.com DuPre served as a medic in the 114th General Hospital Unit in Kidderminster, England. His parents served on the Western Front during World War I.
DuPre met members of the US Soccer Women’s National Team at Omaha Beach in France, the site of D-Day. The fateful meeting led to Pete’s performance of the anthem. The team took to Twitter following Sunday’s game to share their love for Pete.
we love Pete so much. pic.twitter.com/Lxd3Xqo9eu
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) May 26, 2019
Harmonica Pete became an overnight star, his performance drawing praise from athletes, fans, and proud Americans.
Wow…stirring in its simplicity and sense of quiet. Did anyone see 96yo WWII vet Pete DuPree deliver a moving National Anthem on harmonica on @foxandfriends from the @USWNT match? #MemorialDayWeekend pic.twitter.com/3kiV8rMC5N
— Brian DiSabatino (@BrianDiSab) May 27, 2019
— Lauryn Nadolny (@LaurynNadolny) May 26, 2019
I’m all for the stadium singing the National Anthem, but listening to a WWII veteran play it on the harmonica has me ?. Well done Pete Dupre and @USWNT ?? ???????? God bless the families who had to live on after their family member gave the ultimate sacrifice. #USAvMEX
— Lucas (@Lucasjr02) May 26, 2019
Hear Pete DuPre perform the national anthem on the harmonica in the video below. Thank you for your service, Mr. DuPre.