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Mall Santa Spots a WWII Veteran in the Crowd. What Happens Next Is Amazing.

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As we go about our busy days during the Christmas season, there are thousands of sweet or life-changing moments we miss when we don’t stop to notice the little things. Facebook user Gina Stecher Wilbur experienced this firsthand when she noticed something unusual about the Santa actor at her local mall.

Wilbur shared in a now-viral Facebook post that while she was at the Concord Mall in Wilmington, Delaware, she stopped for a rest on a bench near a Santa’s Workshop attraction, she enjoyed a brief moment of people-watching.

What she saw next was an extraordinarily simple yet heartwarming incident.

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“…Took a second to sit on a bench near Santa’s workshop… then Santa steps away from his Chair,” Wilbur explained in her post. “He walks over to a veteran sitting on the wall…”

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“As Santa approaches, the veteran stands and Santa takes a knee,” she continued. “I hear Santa telling the gentleman, in a soft voice, of others he knew who served. He shakes his hand with genuine gratefulness thanking him for his service and returns to the children.”

Wilbur described the touching display of honor and respect the “best moment of [her] day.”

Christmas shopping with Cavan and took a second to sit on a bench near Santa’s workshop… then Santa steps away from…

Posted by Gina Stecher Wilbur on Saturday, 1 December 2018

Wilbur noted in a statement to FOX29 that she wasn’t the only one who had noticed the Santa’s kind heart. “Others were commenting of heartwarming stories about Santa and how he impacted them; always greeting and respecting veterans, signing to deaf children and holding the sleeping babies.”

“I even received a Facebook message from Mrs. Claus boasting about her kind, endearing husband we all call Santa,” she added. “If you are looking for the real Santa, I know him!”

Not long after her post went viral, the veteran’s daughter reached out to Wilbur identified him as 93-year-old Bob Smiley, who served under General George S. Patton.

After the moment was shared by millions across the nation, Wilbur, Smiley, and the anonymous Santa met at the mall for a reunion.

What an absolutely unforgettable, incredible day… and it’s only 8am! So much to say but I’m soaking it in.. for now. I am in awe.

Posted by Gina Stecher Wilbur on Thursday, 6 December 2018

“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 told FOX29.

“This picture is no longer just an image but a photograph that came to life,” Wilbur shared with the news outlet. “It goes so much deeper because of those two men.”

“They have led lives that will leave legacies and we are all getting a glimpse of it now. In a world full of so much negativity, I truly think we have to seek the positive,” she commented. “There are genuinely good people all around us, doing great things. It’s all about perspective. We just need to choose to see it and share it.”

News

MUST SEE: Brave Alaskan Helps Baby Moose Navigate Highway Barrier

Normally, stories about moose on the highway don’t end this well.

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Alaska is a state like no other.  It’s still a veritably untamed place, where the weather and the wildlife are both out to get you. It takes a special kind of person to hack it in America’s last frontier.  A simple run to the grocery store can be hazardous in some conditions, and just taking the garbage out at night may find you face-to-face with hundreds of pounds of brown bear. But ask any Alaskan what they hope to avoid the most, and many will tell you it’s the moose that you have to worry about. These creatures are simply enormous, and they have just enough of an attitude to be more than a nuisance when confronted.  Combine that with the fact that plenty of Alaskans are killed each year after automotive collisions with these gargantuan animals, and you have a real recipe for trouble. This week, however, a different sort of moose story made headlines, and with some adorable photos to show for it. Last week, pictures of a man in Alaska lifting a moose calf over a highway guardrail were posted on Facebook. According to Andrea N Salty Bock, who posted the pictures on Facebook, the calf and its mother were near Clam Gulch, on the Kenai Peninsula. The mother was apparently trying to get her baby to go over the guardrail, but it was too tall for the calf. “Traffic stopped to give her the room she needed,” the Facebook post said. “But the calf could not clear the guardrail.” The photos were captivating. Authorities, while thankful that the moose was able to continue on its way, warned that the situation was still a dangerous one, despite the size and age of this animal.

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Sports

VIRAL VIDEO: Hockey Fans Belt US National Anthem in Stirring Moment

The moment was simply magical.

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For as much controversy as has been manufactured around the National Anthem, there is still nothing quite like witnessing a powerful rendition of a song that brings so many of us pride here in the United States. In the annals of sports history, there are but a few moments of anthemic joy that stand atop the list, with this author’s personal favorite being the incredibly salient and pointed version performed by Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl in 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lCmBvYMRs Now, 30 years and some months later, another unforgettable anthem moment has arrived. Nassau Coliseum was roaring with energy Wednesday night as fans in attendance belted out the National Anthem before the New York Islanders Game 6 victory over the Boston Bruins in a viral moment that is sure to give anyone chills. Nicole Raviv regularly sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Isles games at the Coliseum but on Wednesday night she was overpowered by the crowd, even turning over the microphone to the fans. “My heart is full. The coliseum will forever have the best backup singers in the #NHL,” Raviv wrote on Twitter. A moment like this was made for social media, and it soon spread like wildfire. https://twitter.com/NHLonNBCSports/status/1402773091672068098?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1402773091672068098%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fsports%2Fislanders-fans-national-anthem-viral-game-6-bruins The fans were ready, however, after a microphone glitch forced them to join in on the anthem just two games earlier.

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