Bedford, Virginia, the community who suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses and home of The National D-Day Memorial, will honor and remember D-Day veterans for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. If you are unable to make the morning service, you can watch it live online on http://www.WDBJ7.com.
On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft supported the invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in France. The D-Day cost was high with more than 9,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded as the march across Europe to defeat Hitler began.
The National D-Day Memorial is place where veterans gather, share stories, and reflect on the high cost of freedom. Visitors may have the opportunity to shake the hands of veterans, and listen to their stories.
The Memorial will open at 7:30AM on Friday, June 6. Please see their website at http://www.dday.org for more information about satellite parking.
Program highlights include an honor guard, recognition of D-Day veterans, guest speakers, dignitaries including French, British and UK representatives, music, and more. Read more at http://conta.cc/1m5UyGy
The commemoration begins with a morning ceremony featuring the laying of wreaths by D-Day units.
Other activities include:
* Veterans oral history stations
* A USO show featuring the 29th Division Band and a “Salute to Sinatra” at 1:30PM
* Reunion Tent
* Food vendors
* Displays by Living Historians
* Flyover including a P-51 and a C-47
* Parachute jump by the Golden Knights.
Friday, June 6th, 2014 ~ Outdoor Movie Night and Canteen
The public is invited to the Memorial for an outdoor movie night with a 1940s theme. The Canteen will offer the best of period refreshments and the featured film will be “Casablanca.” The film begins at dusk.
Saturday, June 7th, 2014 – 10AM ~ D-Day Parade
The community of Bedford will host a 1940s parade on the morning of June 7th. Antique cars, veterans, living historians, and more will parade through town. At 11am, a bell will toll marking the 19 from Bedford killed on June 6, 1944. Walking tours will be available for those interested in visiting some of the more famous Bedford Boys sites as mentioned in Alex Kershaw’s award winning book “The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate Sacrifice.”
On Saturday, June 7th, 2014 at 7PM Tommy Dorsey Orchestra will perform at the Memorial. Advance tickets are on sale now for $25 per person! Get them at the National D-Day Memorial offices, the Center in the Square Box Office, or by calling 540-586-3329, M-F, 9-5. Read more: http://conta.cc/1sME72R
There are a limited number of tickets available for pre-sale. Unless there is a threat of inclement weather, additional tickets will be sold for $30 at the door.
Sunday, June 8th – 11AM ~ Field Chapel Service
Conclude the 70th anniversary observance with an authentic WWII field chapel ecumenical service. A unique and moving experience. The service begins at 11am. Visit http://www.dday.org to learn more.
These events with the exclusion of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra are free to the public. Donations are appreciated. The Memorial is supported by contributions to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization; it is not a National Park and does receive federal funding.