CARENTAN, France (CNN) — Observers in France got to see several parachutists fall from the sky Wednesday to honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday.
Tom Rice, 97, made a similar jump back in 1944 on the actual D-Day. That’s when 18,000 British and American troops dropped into France and paved the way for more allied troops to invade Normandy Beach by sea. It’s still the largest amphibious military operation ever, involving more than 155,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops.
The surprise attack gave Allied forces an entry point to liberate France and push into Germany. Once there, they joined Soviet troops invading from the east and defeated the Nazis.
As for Rice, he was part of the 101st Airborne, which fought against Germans in nearby cabbage patches. He said he was jumping again to honor his fellow veterans.
Even at his age, he jokes it is easier this time because nobody is shooting at him.