WWII Veteran Joe Bell showed up dressed in full military uniform to show support for the runners and the race’s cause. The annual 8-kilometer race benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation, which invests in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships. Pat Tillman was a San Jose native that played for the NFL before he was tragically killed by friendly fire while serving the U. S. Army in Afghanistan.
In turn, one runner took a moment from the race to shake 95-year-old Bell’s hand, thanking him for his service. Other runners quickly followed, and a spontaneous, heartening sidewalk tribute took place.
The touching scene was captured by Julia Prodis Sulek of the San Jose Mercury News.