Santa gets down on a knee to thank veteran for his service at Concord Mall

- 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.

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.  

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