Commemorating D-Day in Bedford

A basic rule of journalism is to be timely, but I am going to violate that rule because I want my friends and readers to be aware of a very special event that will take place June 6-8 in Bedford, Virginia.

Bedford is the home of the National D-Day Memorial. As some of you know, Bedford, a town of some 3,200 in 1944, lost 19 sons on D-Day. The Memorial and the town will be hosting the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Allied invasion of Europe. It was a day heralded in history, but one that would bring untold, mostly silent suffering to thousands of home throughout America, especially the homes in Bedford.

Entrance to the Memorial

Entrance to the Memorial

A host of activities is planned including an official commemoration and an outdoor showing of Casablanca on Friday, as well as a parade and a Tommy Dorsey concert on Saturday. Throughout the weekend, veterans will be present to tell their stories. The Memorial itself is a beautiful and moving place and well-worth a visit at any time.

I’m going. I feel as if I have to go. I have a need to look into the eyes of the old men who were there and see the boys who served.

These silent sculptures speak volumes. Click to enlarge.

These silent sculptures speak volumes.

I’m writing about this now in case anyone else out there may decide to attend all or part of the weekend. If you can’t, that’s okay; I’ll say “thanks” for all of us.

Click here for the link to the Memorial’s website.

Click here for information on The Bedford Boys, a book that I highly recommend, and which details the confluence of every-day events that placed so many from one small town under History’s spotlight.

Click here for “The Bedford Girl,” my scribbling about a casualty on the home front.

About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
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8 Responses to Commemorating D-Day in Bedford

  1. George Hoffman says:

    Austin, thanks for posting this! It was something that I did not know, and am glad now that I do! Hope all is well with you!



    • All is well, and thanks for asking, George. Even if you don’t make the 70th anniversary, Bedford is a place you should go. I spent a quiet Sunday morning just walking around the town, which I was inspired to do by reading “The Bedford Boys.” That was an experience that has stayed with me. Hope you are happy & healthy as well!


  2. Bonnie Lane says:

    Oh Dear Lord … you well know the connection that I have with that date! Very emotional.


  3. Al says:

    Thankful for the opportunity to visit this shrine years ago with you and Martha. My thoughts will be with you that weekend.


  4. Don Hoover says:

    Austin, this is a good flashback to the “Bedford Girl” post. It brings reality home to many who lost their lives, and particularly those from Bedford. I remember you mentioned about going when I saw you last. I know you will remember that weekend for a long time to come.


    • I’m sure I will, too, which is one reason I want to go. The event is kind of calling me. I feel as if I just CAN’T miss it and I plan on blogging about it in order to bring everyone along with me.


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