Anthony Maggert was driving down the Capital Beltway on Tuesday, January 22, when he noticed someone kneeling curbside, replacing a flat tire on his car: former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Maggert, who has long held an admiration for Powell, immediately pulled over and helped the former general.
Afterwards, they snapped an adorable selfie that inspired in both its subjects a hope for America and its future.
It turns out Maggert wasn't just aware of Powell's identity—he's a fan. The army veteran has read all of Powell's books, and was continually inspired by the general's sense of calm during Maggert's 23 years of service, which included three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
During his final stint of duty, a flesh-eating caused an infection on Maggert's leg. Before long, the limb had to be amputated, but that hasn't stopped the veteran for keeping an upbeat view of the world.
"Such a gentleman. I hope when I'm [that age], I'm as spry as he is."
@CNN Props to the good samaritan for helping him out. Also props for the epic beard.— Jose Pepz Acuña (@Jose Pepz Acuña)1548381198.0
Later that day, the veteran took to social media to write a message to Secretary Powell:
"Gen. Powell, I hope I never forget today because I'll never forget reading your books. You were always an inspiration, a leader and statesman. After 33 years in the military you were the giant whose shoulders we stood upon to carry the torch to light the way and now it is tomorrow's generation that must do the same."
@CNN This is how we can be! This is not fake news or fake anything. This is real humans caring for each other-like General Powell says.— Sue Butcher (@Sue Butcher)1548554284.0
Twitter users were inspired by the pair's respect and admiration for each other:
@CNN Some “feel good” I needed 🖤— Candace Smith (@Candace Smith)1548381421.0
@CNN Please take a moment to read! This is what America is all about.— Elizabeth Prior (@Elizabeth Prior)1548416791.0
There's no doubt these two represent some of the best things our country has to offer.
@CNN Be the change people, be the change— seemslikely (@seemslikely)1548381122.0
Also, Mr. Powell might want to invest in AAA.
@washingtonpost Colin doesn't have roadside assistance?— Lawrence Williams (@Lawrence Williams)1548460893.0
Powell would later respond to Maggert with a public Facebook post:
In his post, he wrote:
"Thanks, Anthony. You touched my soul and reminded me about what this country is all about and why it is so great. Let's stop screaming at each other. Let's just take care of each other. You made my day."
This is the best from General Colin Powell🇺🇸 https://t.co/MUCoEcU8Ew— Sara Small FOX17 (@Sara Small FOX17)1548366152.0
The message resonated with many Americans.
@SaraSmallTV American Heroes!!!! Keep teaching the world how to be nice and courteous. This gives hope!— 🏀LAKERS HOOPS🏀 (@🏀LAKERS HOOPS🏀)1548461122.0
There's so many things to love in our country, none more important than the common decency of two people whose mutual respect is all too obvious. Reading their story, many American citizens feel there may be hope for our country after all.
@thehill Two great Americans, Anthony Maggert and Colin Powell. Semper Fi, gentlemen. You both have my respect.— Coyotus Resistus (@Coyotus Resistus)1548468281.0
Of course, the real story of the day went almost unnoticed:
@thehill I think the real story here is that Colin Powell has yellow rims.— Ryan M (@Ryan M)1548377548.0
Thanks for making our days, Mr. Maggert and Mr. Powell. We hope your tire remains fixed for a long time to come!