A heartfelt thank you to George, author of the blog The Off Key Off Life for sharing the story of Bedford, Virginia, The Bedford Boys, and the long-awaited D-Day Memorial. As an American, but also as a resident of Bedford County, I appreciate his moving account of the young men from this farming community who sacrificed their lives on June 6, 1944. Bedford is my hometown. I live about 15 minutes from the D-Day Memorial and can vividly remember my grandparents sharing the sadness and devastation of that “black day,” as they called it. I remember Grandma Rieley recounting her memories of attending school as well as going to dances with a number of these young men. All I can say is this, the looks on my grandparents’ faces and tone of their voices when remembering that day certainly left an impression on me.
I have also read the book, The Bedford Boys and would highly recommend it.
Happy Memorial Day!
I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, January 10, 1946
We sometimes have a tendency to glamorize war in books and movies. Those who have been there understand it’s much worse than anything that’s been filmed or written. It never captures the brutality or long-lasting consequences.
Last fall I had an opportunity to visit the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va. When we were planning a trip to NC/Va, I came across this town and wondered why The D-Day Memorial would be placed in a small farming town of a little over six thousand people in Central Virginia. In 1940, just before World War II, Bedford numbered less than four thousand residents.
During the Battle of D-Day, Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division, were among the first wave of…
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