Runners’ touching tribute turns WWII vet into a viral video hero

Runners in the San Jose 408K Marathon made a touching gesture which was captured on video that has since gone viral.

WWII veteran Joe Bell, 95, was standing out on the sidewalk in inclement weather Sunday cheering on the runners, when one took a spontaneous detour to shake his hand. One by one, other runners followed, thanking him for his service.

“They began to pile up. For a moment, I worried Joe might get knocked over,” the woman who captured it on video, Mercury News’ Julia Prodis Sulek said. “But as I recorded, I couldn’t help but get choked up to see this sweet old man, beloved by his neighbors, receiving a parade of tributes from strangers.”

A former Army corporal, Bell was overwhelmed by the support of the runners.

“I never got recognition in my life,” he told Prodis Sulek Tuesday. “I was a jumper in the OSS. That’s all.”

The race was organized by the Pat Tillman Foundation, which funds scholarships for military veterans. Tillman was a San Jose all-around athlete who gave up a career in the NFL to serve in the U.S. Army. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

Watch the video here:

Navy vet defiantly confronts lawmakers over Conn. gun law: ‘I will not comply!’


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles