D-Day Memorial – Echoes of my Neighborhood

Happy Thursday and welcome to my neighborhood. It’s been a few weeks since my last post to Jacqueline’s Echoes of my Neighborhood Challenge. To be honest I ran out of micro, macro, oddities to show you…and it is likely very clear that I do not get out much! 🙂 Besides my day job and taking care of my critters, I rarely wander past my front door. But this past weekend I had the honor to visit an historical site to hear a concert. With all the unrest in the world today, it is good to reflect on the past to realize that we have the capacity to come together, nation to nation to defeat a common enemy. Even when the price is great, good eventually overcomes evil. And that gives me hope!

From the National D-Day Memorial Website: On June 6th, 1944 United States soldiers, in one of the most pivotal battles of World War II, invaded the French coastline in order to propel German soldiers out of Western Europe and lead the way for victory against the tyrants of that era. Dedicated on June 6th, 2001 by president George W. Bush, the National D-Day Memorial was constructed in honor of those who died that day, fighting in one of the most significant battles in our nations history.

It is located in Bedford, Virginia (about 45 minutes from where I live). Why Bedford? Here is a second excerpt from the Memorial’s website:

Bedford, Virginia… 
Like eleven other Virginia communities, Bedford provided a company of soldiers (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on 3 February 1941. Some thirty Bedford soldiers were still in that company on D-Day; several more from Bedford were in other D-Day companies, including one who, two years earlier, had been reassigned from the 116th Infantry to the First Infantry Division. Thus he had already landed in both Northern Africa and Sicily before coming ashore on D-Day at Omaha Beach with the Big Red One. Company A of the 116th Infantry assaulted Omaha Beach as part of the First Division’s Task Force O. 

By day’s end, nineteen of the company’s Bedford soldiers were dead. Two more Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign, as did yet another two assigned to other 116th Infantry companies. Bedford’s population in 1944 was about 3,200. Proportionally this community suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses. Recognizing Bedford as emblematic of all communities, large and small, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day, Congress warranted the establishment of the National D-Day Memorial here.

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All photos by Kat Myrman – July 2016

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