Town of Bedford Honors June 6 D-Day

by Scott Dreyer

World War II saw conflict across Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the oceans of the world. However, the charming Central Virginia town of Bedford is the site of the famous D-Day Memorial. Bedford sent 35 men to land at Normandy, France.

The memorial honors the 19 local boys who died on June 6, 1944, in the heroic struggle to liberate Europe from Nazism. Before the end of that campaign, four more Bedford boys lost their lives. Bedford’s mind-numbing 65 percent death rate means that on a per capita basis, the town sacrificed more residents than any other American community in that epic fight between good and evil.

Because of the fog of war and poor communication then, horrific news of those casualties did not begin to come into Bedford until July 17th, a month and a half after D-Day, when the first 11 deaths were reported. Reports of the other deaths trickled in over the following days and weeks.

Notably, since telegraph messages then were sent from town to town, news of Bedford’s losses first came through the Western Union telegraph office in Roanoke. One Roanoker had the terrible task at work of sending these five words to the Bedford office: “Good morning, we have casualties.”

“The youngest one was just about to turn 21 and the oldest was 30,” said Linda Parker, co-director of the Company A Bedford Boys Tribute Center.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin spoke at Tuesday’s commemoration (June 6th) at the D-Day Memorial to honor the 79th anniversary of that event. Remembering the sacrifices of those who went before, the Town of Bedford has festooned the lampposts along Main Street with banners featuring the names and photos of those Bedford Boys who never made it home from WWII, along with U.S. and French flags, since the site of the landings, the Normandy beaches, are in Northwest France.

As our state and nation face today’s many challenges, we can take hope and encouragement from the bravery, patriotism, and sacrifice of those who have gone before.

Republished with permission from The Roanoke Star.

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11 responses to “Town of Bedford Honors June 6 D-Day”

  1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    A reminder of the price of isolationism.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      and allowing tyranny to thrive anywhere.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        So you support the invasion of Iraq. Interesting.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          If it had been done right, but your boy messed it up.

        2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          You don’t think there is a difference between 1939ish Nazi Germany and Iraq in 2003?

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            Nancy’s comment was, “and allowing tyranny to thrive anywhere.” Nothing to do with Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Tyranny. Anywhere.

            There’s a whole lot of tyranny in the world.

            I have a real problem with the neocon philosophy that holds the US needs to actively / militarily engage tyranny all around the world.

    2. Tom B Avatar

      Then there are the reminders of the price of stupid interventionist policies.
      A short list would include:

      Jimmy Carter’s elevating Arafat to statesman from terrorist.
      Jimmy Carter’s letting the Ayatollah take over Iran.
      Obama’s Arab spring, Libya and Syria.

      Biden’s Afghan withdrawal.
      No tyranny or strife resulted from those brilliant moves.

      Follow the experts they tell us. We did, and look where we are.

      To paraphrase Jefferson: I would rather trust the judgement of a group of farmers than all the crowned heads of academia.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        Not really interventionist policies but on balance we do better when we engage early. It took two horrible world wars to learn that … we should never, ever forget.

  2. Wahoo'74 Avatar

    Excellent tribute.👍🇺🇸

  3. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    One of my mother’s roommates at Longwood had a brother in that unit. My mother was visiting her friend’s home in Bedford on the day the telegrams came. The family she was with did not get one, so that gentleman survived the landing, but families all over town got the horrible news. Every church bell starting ringing. She never forgot the bells. She choked up every time she mentioned them, as I am doing now.

    My parents never visited Omaha but I was pleased to see the road up from the landing beach is Bedford Boys Way. We must not forget they stand in for thousands more from every part of the U.S., Canada and the UK.

    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,

  4. William Chambliss Avatar
    William Chambliss

    This is just a beautifully written article. Thanks so much for re-posting it.

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