A woman shopping at a local mall snapped a stunning moment. When the mall Santa was making his way to work, he discovered an elderly gentleman sitting nearby. After realizing the man was a WWII veteran, Santa stopped to show him what he really thought of his service.
The men who served the United States during one of our darkest hours are quickly disappearing. The Greatest Generation — those who fought in World War II — are reaching an advanced age. Those who survived the horrors of war and lived to raise children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, are passing away.
Soon, they will be gone. We won’t have an opportunity to express to them our gratitude and thanks much longer.
Perhaps that was what this mall Santa was thinking when he spotted a veteran in the Concord Mall. Santa noticed the Bob Smiley resting nearby. The mall Santa wanted to greet the elderly veteran.
To show him respect and to do him honor, Santa Claus got on one knee to share a kind moment with Smiley. A woman sitting nearby snapped a photo of the special moment. It has since gone viral, one of the unique moments we’re seeing this Christmas.
A local woman captured a very special moment between St. Nick himself and a local veteran.
Gina Wilbur was sitting on a bench at the Concord Mall when she spotted Santa walking by. She was hoping to snap a photo of him, but he stopped before passing her.
Instead, Santa got down on a knee and began speaking to a man who had been sitting in front of Gina on a wall.
That man was Bob Smiley, a veteran. Santa had spotted him and got down on one knee to thank him for his service.
Gina shared the photo on Facebook, and Smiley’s family spotted the photo and were moved by the image. [Source: Fox News 13]
Christmas shopping with Cavan and took a second to sit on a bench near Santa’s workshop… then Santa steps away from…
These days, everyone is talking about the guy in the red suit. Families will travel from all around to catch a glimpse of Santa. Children will sit on his knee and ask him from presents. All eyes will be on the man who gives out gifts to everyone.
But this Santa wasn’t too proud to get on his knee and speak with this American hero. He gladly took time out of his busy day to thank Smiley for his sacrifice and service.
After Wilbur’s picture spread across the Internet, Santa and Smiley were reunited.
Santa and Smiley, 93, were reunited this morning on Good Day Philadelphia where they discussed the encounter.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to men like this, that have made such a life-changing decision to give up themselves, be willing to lay down their life even, for other people,” Santa explained to FOX 29’s Jennaphr Frederick.
“In my generation it was duty. We all went, we all served. Every boy in my high school graduating class all served,” Smiley said.
Smiley says out of the 35 boys from his graduating class who served, five were killed. [Source: Fox News 13]
Those who served in WWII experienced incredible challenges, hardships, and victories. Few of them are left to share their stories.
If we have the opportunity to meet one of them, be they a relative or neighbor, we should be like this Santa. We should not waste the chance to speak with them, thank them, and show them a bit of respect.
I know this moment meant the world to Smiley and everyone who has seen it. SHARE this little bit of Christmas cheer, if you want to honor our veterans.