So who were the people gathered on the mall Tuesday - some in Valentine's pink and red? They were a mix of people, from a Columbia cake decorator to a stay-at-home mom with two kids to a real estate developer.
They were complete strangers who were going to take part in a flash mob - but not the criminal kind. They gathered to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project.
“Everybody has thanked me for being in the military, so I'm doing my part to thank them,” says former Marine Jake Stephenson.
As organizer Norm Snyder barks out instructions, participants move to the Korean Memorial, blending in until Norm's pre-arranged wave freezes everyone with their hands in the shape of hearts.
A video will be posted on social websites with links to the Wounded Warrior Project. And as the names of local soldiers are hung on each heart, tourists wonder, what the heck?
“They're all stopped, and I was like, what's this?'” says Dave Johnson of Pennsylvania.
Five minutes later, it was all over, with participants drifting off and leaving people to reflect on an act of love.