BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A World War II veteran from right here in Baltimore is celebrating his 109th birthday Thursday!

Sergeant Ezra Hill said that he is thankful for everyone in his life.

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“I want to thank Dr. May whose one of the greatest, and I want to thank all of the doctors who prepared this day in making me 109,” Hill said.

“It’s been my pleasure to be Mr. Hill’s doctor for a few years, and my basic idea was not to do anything to him,” May said.

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A 1931 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School, Hill joined the Army before taking off to battle in Normandy. He raised three children- two of whom are here today.

An extension of that experience is his wife, a relationship that started 79 years ago.

As for the possible secret to his longevity? “Do unto others as you want others to do unto you,” he says.

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Hill’s life is well-traveled. He played center field in the Negro Baseball League and once owned a shoe store on Gay Street for 50 years.