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Watch: 96-Year-Old World War II Vet's Moving National Anthem Was Perfect for Memorial Day Weekend

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This just might be the best rendition of the national anthem you’ll ever hear.

To open the U.S. Women’s National Team’s game against Mexico on Sunday in the send-off series before next month’s World Cup, 96-year-old World War II veteran Pete DuPre gave a stirring performance of the anthem on his harmonica.

Words can’t fully describe the emotional intensity that comes from the performance of the man who’s known as “Harmonica Pete.”

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DuPre, who has seen and sacrificed so much, honored his fallen brothers and sisters on Memorial Day weekend as few others can. You can feel it in every note.

“I got chills listening to that,” one of the announcers said.

The crowd at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, was equally struck by the powerful rendition, as one could scarcely hear a sound until the loud cheers for him at the end.

As were fans watching at home.

DuPre served as a medic in the 114th General Hospital Unit in Kidderminster, England, during World war II, NJ.com reported.

Was this the most inspiring version of the national anthem you've ever heard?
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“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 report said, with information coming from the U.S. Women’s National Team.

DuPre met the players in January at Omaha Beach in Normandy when the team traveled to France.

“It’s the most humbling thing I’ve ever been a part of and heard,” Carli Lloyd, forward, and captain, on the U.S. women’s national team, said of that January meeting at Normandy. “They literally saved the world. To hear their stories, what they went through, and how they’re now sharing those stories after so many years …

“I don’t think any of us really ever get the real feel of what they went through, but it was the most amazing thing that I’ve ever been a part of.”

Team USA, perhaps inspired by Harmonica Pete, defeated Mexico 3-0.

The women now head to France for the World Cup. They begin their title defense June 11 with a match against Thailand.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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