MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An unforgettable moment between two brothers in Mankato is being seen around the country.

Henry Claussen found something with his metal detector: A bottle with a note in it.

He thought it was a prank, but in fact, it was from his older brother, Will. It read, “Will you please say yes to be my best man? Love Will.”

Henry, who lives with Down syndrome, is part of a large, loving family. He and his brother are particularly close.

“I think I was one of the first, if not the first, to understand and communicate with Henry, so we’ve had a special bond, essentially since he was born. We’ve got 22 years of great experience,” Will said. “We’re just so proud of each other. We’re both each other’s biggest fans.”

Henry says will is one of his best friends.

“He supports me and encourages me,” Henry said.

Is he a little nervous about having to share his brother with a woman?

“Not really, but I’m excited to have another sister, so I really like that,” Henry said.

The video of Henry, Will and the note in a bottle got at least tens of thousands of views — which Will says has been a surreal experience.

“We were just sharing it with our family and friends, not expecting it to go viral, but we sure are glad it did because it was a special moment and we were happy to share that with everyone,” Will said.

With their relationship now on display to the world, Will makes sure to remind people Henry’s still his younger brother. He’s got to mess with him somehow.

“I always knew Henry was going to be my best man, but I kept him on the ropes a little bit, kept him a little nervous until I knew I was going to ask,” Will said. “Then I brought that plan out of my back pocket and it worked perfectly. He loved it.”

David Schuman

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