June 6, 2019
Madeline Fitzgerald for TIME, adapted by TFK editors
Tom Rice is a 97-year-old veteran from San Diego, California. On Wednesday, and for the second time in his life, he parachuted into Normandy, France. The first time was on June 6, 1944. That day is known as D-Day.
During World War II, the Allied forces (including Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China) fought to free Europe from the Nazis. On D-Day, they made the largest military invasion in history. It is thought of as one of the most important moments in the war. Rice and others risked their lives by parachuting into Normandy in advance of the sea invasion.
Rice and about 200 other parachutists jumped on Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Rice and another parachutist jumped from a C-47 transport aircraft. They landed near where Rice landed in 1944, outside the Normandy town of Carentan, the site of a key World War II battle.
“It went perfect: perfect jump,” Rice said, according to the Associated Press.
World leaders are marking D-Day in several ways this week. Yesterday, President Donald Trump joined Queen Elizabeth II in Portsmouth, England, to honor those who fought.
Meanwhile, Rice proved he was as brave Wednesday as he was 75 years ago.
“I feel great,” he said after the jump. “I’d go up and do it all again.”