WASHINGTON — There's no denying that many of the hardships from 2020 spilled over into 2021, but there were plenty of happy moments through the year, too.
As we look back on the past 12 months, here are ten moments that warmed our hearts, from a proud military dad to athletes who made history.
10. Friendship with Black man helps white woman renounce racist upbringing
Growing up, Bethany was taught to not "mix races." But while working at a convenience store, she struck up a conversation with Joe, a Black man. That chat turned into a friendship that caused Bethany to renounce her hateful upbringing.
9. Groom carries bride's sister with special needs down the aisle
Morgan and Macey are twins, but Macey suffers from an unknown disability that affected her growth. On her wedding day, Morgan included her twin sister in a special way by having her husband-to-be carry Macey down the aisle in a wedding dress.
8. Filipino weightlifter wins country's first Olympic gold medal
The road to Tokyo wasn't easy for Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, but her hard work paid off when she won gold -- the first time anyone from her country achieved that honor.
7. Couple adopts seven siblings
Just as their fifth biological kid was graduation high school, Pamela Willis saw a news story about a family of seven kids who were orphaned in a car accident.
"The first thing I thought of was, 'No one's going to have room for them. And the second thing I thought of was, 'I have room for them,'" she said.
6. Restaurant gives full day of earnings to staff
Heavenly Pizza in Findlay, Ohio donated a full day of sales on a holiday weekend, about $78 an hour, to their employees to thank them for their hard work during the pandemic.
5. Gymnast Suni Lee nabs Olympic wins despite family tragedy
Suni Lee was a breakout star for the United States' gymnastic team during the Tokyo Olympics. But what viewers didn't know is that just before a major competition, Lee's father was partially paralyzed in an accident.
"I told her to just go and do your thing, don't worry about me. I'll be okay," her dad said.
4. Third grade singing prodigy wows with national anthem performance
Ever since DCorey Johnson was 4 years old, he's been singing in his church's choir because his mom knew he had a gift. He showed off his natural talent by singing the national anthem for his school.
3. Seniors make sleeping pads for the homeless
These nursing home residents found a great way to reuse plastic shopping bags: By weaving them into sleeping mats for people who are homeless.
2. Teachers surprise custodian with new car
This hardworking custodian was having a tough time finding transportation to the school where he works when some teachers surprised him with a car of his own.
1. Marine father tearfully commissions son
Master Sgt. Michael Fisher couldn't hold back his tears while giving his son his first salute. "He made my job as a father easy," Fisher said during the commissioning ceremony.