Every year, the city of Bedford pays tribute to the men and women who sacrificed to fight for our country during the invasion of Normandy, also known as D-Day. D-Day occurred on June 6, 1944. It was the Allied invasion of Western Europe and it was a turning point in World War II. Due to the bravery and sacrifice of the Allied troops, northern France was liberated and the German troops were forced out. The importance of D-Day to victory in WWII cannot be understated. Learn about the bravery and valor of those who fought for the U.S. at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.
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History of the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA
June 6, 2001, President George W. Bush dedicated the National D-Day Memorial in honor of those who died during the Normandy landings. Located in Bedford, VA, the memorial receives an average of 55,000 visitors a year. The National D-Day Memorial Foundation’s mission is to “preserve the lessons and legacy of D-Day.” Before your visit, check their website for any upcoming educational events that help visitors further understand the sacrifices made by the Allied soldiers.
The memorial stretches over 88 acres at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It takes visitors through the timeline of the Normandy Invasion, from the planning to victory. The D-Day Memorial features sculptures and artwork. At its center is a monumental 44-foot-tall arch and a reflecting pool that surrounds the scene. It’s an incredible site that reminds us of the sacrifice that the men and women made in 1944. The memorial also features a plaque with the name of every one of the 4,413 Allied soldier who died during the invasion. This is the most complete list of its kind anywhere in the world.
Congress chose Bedford to house the D-Day Memorial due to the Bedford Boys, 34 soldiers from Bedford that bravely fought during the Normandy campaign. As Bedford’s population in 1944 was about 3,200 people, they proportionally suffered the nation’s most severe D-Day loss, losing 19 soldiers during D-Day and four more by the end of the Normandy campaign. The Bedford Boys helped inspire the movie Saving Private Ryan, and the movie’s director helped to fund the memorial to pay tribute.
73rd Anniversary of D-Day
This year, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, will be 73 years since D-Day. The memorial will, as it does every year, pay tribute to those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice as well as those who lived to fight another day. There will be a ceremony at 11 a.m. with keynote speaker Jerry Yellin, a WWII pilot who flew the final combat mission of the war. During the mission, his wingman was the final man to be killed in combat. There will be a Veterans Reunion tent and music by the 29th Division Band. Admission to the event will be free, and the Memorial will remain open until 9 p.m.
Places to Stay Near the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA
After paying tribute to our best and bravest, return to your Premier Vacation Rental property to reflect on the day. If you’re planning to bring family or friends to experience D-Day Memorial, we can help accommodate your group. We have lakeside properties, like Hickory Cove Retreat and Dancing Water that are large enough to host 10 guests. We also have smaller properties for a getaway for two, like the Lakefront Condo. Visit our website today to check the availability, We look forward to having you.