U.S. Army
Former President George H.W. Bush and Army Golden Knights Sgt. Mike Elliot free fall while parachuting during the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum grand reopening ceremony on Saturday in College Station, Texas.
updated 11/10/2007 6:39:26 PM ET 2007-11-10T23:39:26

Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated the grand reopening of his presidential museum on Saturday with a surprise skydive.

It was the former president's sixth skydive and his first since 2004, when he jumped to celebrate his 80th birthday. On Saturday, Bush was strapped to an expert from the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, as he was three years ago.

Bush, now 83, had hip replacement surgery in January. He said at the time he planned to skydive in 2009 for his 85th birthday.

"Just because you are 83 years old does not mean you have to sit around," said Bush after Saturday's jump. "The U.S. Army Golden Knights made me feel like I was 23 again."

The museum, described by the former president as the "centerpiece of my library," has been mostly closed since April for the $8.3 million facelift.

Bush's first parachute jump came in 1944 when he was shot down over the Pacific island of Chi Chi Jima.

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