Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The National D Day Memorial - Bedford Virginia

218 DDM 1
While visiting the Bedford area last week I returned to the National D-Day Memorial. I last visited it on its opening on June 6th, 2001. President Bush was the keynote speaker. Until then there was no memorial anywhere in the United States to the "Great Crusade" to free Europe and also the largest amphibious invasion in the history of the world. Of course the United States military was the main "tip of the spear." Thirty three soldiers in the first wave were from Bedford, nineteen of them were killed. This statistic highlights the fact that the town of Bedford, VA. lost more soldiers per capita than any other. I am sure this was a big factor in Bedford being chosen as the site for the memorial. 218 Book                218 Bedford Boys England   218 Bedford Boys Killed Dday I have mentioned that Judy and I lived in Bedford for nine years after I left the Navy. I think it is one of the best small towns in the country and it will always have a special place in my heart. I met Roy Stephens, one of the "Bedford Boys" who lost his twin brother on D-Day. He frequently went to area schools providing an oral history of D-Day. Roy worked tirelessly with other area D-Day veterans to have a memorial to the D-Day invasion. He has since past but, he was in attendance as an honored participant at the opening ceremony of the memorial. I am not sure if I have ever mentioned that Judy and I once resided in the small English village of Southwick seven miles north of Portsmouth England. I only mention it now because of its connection to the D-Day invasion and indirectly to Bedford.  Southwick was a small feudal village until the Ministry of Defense confiscated it at the beginning of WWII. The manor house was turned into the officers wardroom and it was “Ike’s” HQ for the D-Day invasion and the D-Day wall map for the invasion is still there. A tile mosaic above  the statue of Eisenhower at the memorial replicates the map. The columns are symbolic of the “Southwick House”  The property was never returned to the owners and continued as HMS Dryad, a naval training establishment.  I was assigned there as a combat systems instructor at The School of Maritime Operations.  I suggest that you watch the two videos links to see this connection.
Map Room                                                       Southwick House
218 DDay Map Room       218 Southwick house

Video Link 1: D-Day Memorial Annotated tour
Video Link 2 D-Day Memorial tribute video

I had some pics I took on my visit a couple of weeks ago but decided to only post a few because the video links are so much more powerful and educational. That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by. Next blog: Friday


  1. I am glad Bedford has the memorial. We would like to visit there someday.

  2. I am glad Bedford has the memorial. We would like to visit there someday.

  3. Great stuff, I did not know, this is going on the list:)