Queen Elizabeth, US President Donald Trump and other leaders of the wartime Allies have joined some 300 World War II veterans at a seaside ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
A 90-YEAR-OLD D-Day veteran jumped ahead of Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to top one of the UK's biggest singles charts.
Parachutists are jumping over Normandy again, just as soldiers did 75 years ago for D-Day - but this time without being shot at.
Rice's D-Day jump on June 6, 1944, was with the US Army's 101st Airborne Division, with him landing safely despite the bullet hole - and him nearly never making it out of the plane.
Mr Read, who was only 20 when he played his part in D-Day with the Royal Signals, said he would be thinking of his fallen comrades during the jump, which he will undertake with 280 paratroopers. "I feel very proud that I took part in it".
The landing zone was fields of wildflowers outside Carentan, one of the objectives of the thousands of paratroopers who entered occupied France from the sky dropped over Normandy in the D-Day prelude.
"It is our chance, perhaps our last chance, to say thank you to these unbelievable individuals", said British defense minister Penny Mordaunt.
The retired merchant seaman and shanty singer's newfound fame comes as the United Kingdom prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
In the official official programme the Queen writes: "On 6th June 1944, the largest amphibious assault in history was launched, leading to the end of the Second World War and the liberation of Europe".
Declaration of shared values In a joint D-Day proclamation marking the anniversary, the 16 nations attending Wednesday's ceremony affirmed their shared responsibility to ensure that the horrors of World War II are never repeated.
"Obviously I will think of all my mates that didn't come back", he said.
Other parachute jumps are planned involving British veterans at Sannerville.
Jim Radford was only 15 when he served as a ship's galley boy on June 6, 1944, making him the youngest known D-Day veteran. Since June 2014 more than 5,800 medals have been awarded to global veterans.
They were recreating a journey taken by the US Army's 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions to destroy Nazi guns atop the cliffs.
The focus shifts to France, where commemorations will be held at simple military cemeteries near the Normandy beaches where Allied troops landed and died.
Events will include all elements of the British armed forces, to represent those who took part in 1944.
Also expected are presidents, prime ministers and other representatives of the countries that fought alongside Britain: the U.S., Canada, Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland.
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