97-year-old Veteran Parachutes in Normandy on D-Day Anniversary
Tom Rice was a paratrooper in the Allied invasion of France in 1944.
75 years later, Tom Rice parachuted into Normandy, France for the second time.
Rice, a 97-year-old veteran first made the plunge on June 6, 1944 as part of the Allied invasion into Nazi-occupied France on D-Day. This week, leaders from around the world have gathered in Normandy to honor those who lost their lives in what proved to be a turning point of World War II.
As part of the remembrance, Rice and other veterans, all now in their nineties, recreated their jump from the invasion in tandem with actively serving paratroopers. Rice landed in the same area as he did during the war.
"It went perfect, perfect jump," Rice said when he reached the ground and gathered himself. "I feel great. I'd go up and do it all again."
While it was an inspiring sight, Rice also said he took time to remember his fellow paratroopers and soldiers who never made it home in 1944.
A ceremony was held today at the American Cemetery in Normandy, the resting place of 9,380 American service members.
"You are the pride of our nation," President Trump said to the assembled veterans at the ceremony. "You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."