Commemorating the vitally important World War II battle known as D-Day, the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia is a solemn yet inspiring monument to the brave sacrifice made by the soldiers who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy to help the Allies’ war-winning efforts. Learn more about this incredible monument near Smith Mountain Lake below.
Attractions Near Smith Mountain Lake VA: An Iconic National Monument You Won’t Want to Miss
Housed in the town of Bedford at the base of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the National D-Day Memorial is a Smith Mountain Lake attractions first dedicated on June 6th, 2001—fifty-seven years to the day that United States soldiers stormed the French coastline in a pivotal effort to drive out German soldiers.
The monument guides visitors through World War II, including the political atmosphere and dangers faced throughout that tumultuous period of time, while paying tribute to the sacrifices made by the men and women who served our nation during a crucial battle that turned the tides of the war in favor of the United States and its European allies.
At the center of the monument stands an enormous forty-foot tall arch with the word “Overlord” inscribed on it, the military codename for the D-Day operation. Near the arch, a scene symbolizing the gruesome slog that D-Day soldiers made onto the blood-stained beaches of Normandy is surrounded by an awe-inspiring reflecting pool, best seen from late March through November.
At the time of D-Day in 1944, Bedford was a town of just 3,200, yet suffered the severest D-Day losses in the nation. The town of Bedford was chosen as the site of the National D-Day Memorial for the monumental sacrifice of the town and its soldiers, representative of all of the communities whose soldiers served during D-Day.
This inspiring memorial sits at 3 Overlord Circle in Bedford. The National D-Day Memorial is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm, with the last ticket sales ending at 4:30pm. The memorial is closed on Mondays from December through February, as well as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The memorial closes early on New Year’s Eve at 12:00pm.
General admission tickets are priced at $6.00 for students, $8.00 for veterans, and $10.00 for adults. Combination tickets for the Smith Mountain lake attractions National D-Day Memorial and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest are sold for $19.00.
Places to Explore Nearby the D-Day Memorial
Taking time to connect with history in a meaningful way when you’re visiting the Smith Mountain Lake area is bound to be one of the best moments of any trip. As moving as it is commemorative, a stop here is sure to include a moment of reflection. When you’ve had time to see and appreciate your surroundings, there are a long list of additional destinations nearby that can round out an itinerary for the day. Here are a few to consider when you know the D-Day Memorial is on your list of must-see destinations.
The Bedford Welcome Center
Anytime you find yourself somewhere new, taking time to experience the local welcome center is a great way to get in touch with the local vibe and maybe even get some insider information on upcoming events, activities and beyond. After a visit to the D-Day Memorial, you can do exactly that by making your way to 816 Burks Hill Road and visiting the Bedford Welcome Center. This stop makes it simple to collect the maps or informational brochures you might need while taking time to browse some charming displays that feature the best of city highlights. Don’t hesitate to ask the on-site staff for information regarding fun and savory stops that are easy to access nearby.
Sitting on three pristine acres of land at 413 Avenel Avenue, the Avenel House is a historic home that beckons to those who arrive in Bedford with a passion for pursuing the architecture that defines an era. Originally built in 1836, this impressive stop includes opportunities to view the home’s intricate wrap around porch, two-level brick exterior and Greek-revival style. For those that are interested in an interior tour complete with narration regarding the home’s vivid past over the past 184-years, guided experiences are always available upon request.
After spending a day exploring the many historic sights of Bedford, the intrigue can continue on with your selection of savory stops when you’ve worked up an appetite to attend to. Those that choose to dine at Liberty Station will enjoy the unique experience of savoring American comfort food in a restored train station terminal, complete with authentic detailing, yet restored to provide modern comforts. Located at 515 Bedford Avenue, Liberty Station is a one of a kind stop where the cheesecake is a must and the surroundings are sensational testaments to the transportation of the past.
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For additional information on the National D-Day Memorial and other historically and culturally significant attractions near Smith Mountain Lake VA you’ll want to visit in the Smith Mountain Lake region, contact our office and ask about reserving your lodgings with us today!
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