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Photo Of Special Moment Mall Santa Shared With 93-Year-old Veteran Goes Viral

Posted at 3:32 PM, Dec 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-08 15:33:01-05

WILMINGTON, De. (WLWT) – A Delaware woman’s photo of a special moment between Santa Claus and a veteran has gone viral.

Gina Wilbur was trying to snap a photo of Santa at the Concord Mall in Wilmington when he walked by her.

The mall Santa passed her, went over to an older man, got down on one knee and began talking to him, Wilbur told WTFX-TV.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to men like this (who) have made such a life-changing decision to give up themselves, be willing to lay down their life even, for other people,” Santa told the television station.

Bob Smiley, 93, is the veteran Santa talked with inside the mall Dec. 1.

“In my generation, it was duty. We all went, we all served. Every boy in my high school graduating class all served,” Smiley told the television station.

Wilbur said she was taking a break from shopping when the special moment happened.

“I actually came out of a store and I had some heavy bags,” she told the Cecil Daily newspaper. “I see this Santa walking toward me and I figured I’d take a picture.”

Wilbur, whose Facebook post has thousands of shares, said it was the “best moment of my day.”

She told the newspaper it was one of those “I can’t believe I captured this” moments.

“I don’t like negative stuff,” Wilbur said. “Sharing this made my day.”

In a Facebook message, Wilbur said, “the world needs more of this.”