The most inspirational moment of the Super Bowl came courtesy of a 91-year-old veteran who served his country in World War II as an aviator, was shot down by the Japanese at the age of 20 and only escaped being beheaded and then eaten by his captors because he was rescued by an American submarine, then later became President of the United States.

President George H. W. Bush flipped the coin to start the game between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, and that moment in the limelight was well-deserved for a man who has done nothing other than serve his country for the better part of 70 years. The game was played in Houston, Bush’s hometown, and Bush got a sustained ovation as he was accompanied his wife Barbara at midfield for the coin flip.

Bush was recently hospitalized for shortness of breath, and then underwent a procedure for respiratory problems stemming from pneumonia. He also flipped the coin before the 2002 Super Bowl in New Orleans, in which the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 20-17, winning their first Super Bowl.

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