Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day / D-Day 2014

Bedford, Virginia
Last month my husband and I attended our nephew's wedding in Bedford, Virginia. What a beautiful setting  in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a spring wedding. The weather was perfect, too.

This village is located between Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia. There are hiking and biking trails, wine trails, shopping, cultural activities, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forests, the Appalachian Trail, the Blueridge Parkway, and a historic downtown area.

Blueridge Mountains

There is also a beautiful, small memorial garden next to the public library called Wharton Memorial Garden.

While we were there we had time to visit some of the local attractions and drive around the beautiful countryside. The mountains and views were breathtaking.

Wharton Memorial Garden, Bedford, VA
Wharton Memorial Garden, Bedford, VA

Before we headed to Virginia for the wedding, one of my friends from Mexico, New York (thank you Alma), shared some pictures of a National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. I had never heard of the Memorial before, but it sounded very interesting. And realizing that we would be visiting Bedford, VA for the wedding I thought it would be great to take the time to visit this Memorial.

So What Does Bedford, Virginia have to do with Memorial Day?

As per Wikipedia: 
"Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. 
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans."

A few years ago, Bedford, Virginia was chosen as the official site for the National D-Day Memorial.The community of Bedford, Virginia lost the most lives per capita in the nation on D-Day.  

The National Memorial honors the Allied Forces that participated in the D-Day Operations in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. This year on June 6, 2014, marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

This was the largest amphibious landing ever in the world on the fortified shores of the French coastline to fight Nazi Germany. 150,000 allied troops landed on a 50 mile stretch of the coastline. More than 5,000 ships and 11,000 aircraft also supported the mission. U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was in command of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. More than 9,000 Allied Troops were killed or wounded as they made their way across Europe to defeat Hilter.

This site was dedicated June 6, 2001 by then president George W. Bush.

The arch is at the center of the Memorial Grounds. "Overlord" was the code name given to the Allied operation D-Day.

The National D-Day Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The memorial does not receive federal funding. The memorial is maintained and supported by contributions and admission fees.

There are various ways to make a donation to this Memorial. One of them would be to "Buy a Brick for a Veteran". For $250 the inscribed bricks are a permanent tribute to men and women who served in the Armed Forces of the United States. These tributes are not just for World War II, but are available for any service period. Here is the link for that information: The National D-Day Memorial Veterans Brick Campaign

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

There are various programs and events that are planned here throughout the year. The link to their website (below) offers a calendar with the schedule.

The other countries that participated with support are recognized here as well: United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Poland, Greece, France, Czechoslovakia, Norway, and New Zealand.

June 6, 2014 marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and several special events are planned at the Memorial.

The memorial is a tribute to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifices of the D-Day participants. It is a very solemn and sacred area. Beautifully planned English gardens surround the memorial with perennials and benches.

Daily tours of the grounds are offered. There is an entrance fee of $8 per adult, $5 (children 6-18 or valid college ID), and Veterans are free. There is a small additional fee for the guided walking tour. I recommended the walking tour. The guides are very well-informed and are all volunteers. Our tour guide was a local retired history teacher and was wonderful and very knowledgeable.

Please remember our honored Veterans who lost their lives serving our Country this Memorial Day weekend. 

Link to National D-Day Memorial Bedford, VA:
Link to Bedford, Virginia
Link to Wharton Memorial Garden, Bedford, VA
Link to Wikipedia Operation Overlord

#BedfordVA #DDay #MemorialDay

Feel free to leave a comment in the box below. Thank you for stopping by.


  1. Thank you for posting this.I didn't know about this.Very interesting.

    1. Thanks Christene. We just found out about it as well. It's really situated in a beautiful area of Virginia and not too far off the interstate. We found it very informative.

    2. Thanks Christene. This Memorial is in a beautiful setting and not too far off the interstate. It was very informative and very well planned out. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Excellent blog...thank you for clarifying the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's day!

    1. Thank you Ann. I wasn't aware of it either until my husband pointed it out to me.

  3. Very nice post, Sue. I just was listening to a radio talk show explaining the difference between the two holidays and also criticizing the media on saying "Happy Memorial Day." Many apparently don't know the difference. I love visiting VA - the beautiful countryside and all that history. I enjoyed your images of the National D-Day Memorial and that place took quite a loss having lost the most lives per capita in the nation on D-Day. They have a nice memorial.

    1. Thank you, Donna. Yes, I was confused as well between the two holidays. It is a very beautiful memorial tribute to the World War II Veterans that they have in Bedford. Virginia is very beautiful. I wish we had more time because there is so much to explore in that area. We took some photos in the countryside of some old barns, but the side roads were very curvy and no place to pull over so didn't get as many photos as we would have liked.

  4. Beautiful photos as always. Virginia is such a nice place to visit. Lovely Memorial Day sentiments, always eager to learn =)

    1. Thank you, Laura. I appreciate your comments.

  5. Thanks for visiting our little town and sharing it with others. The National D-Day Memorial is our gem.

    1. Thank you Linda. It is a beautiful town and I could tell from the people we talked with that there is so much pride in your town. You have a lot to be proud of with your beautiful D-Day Memorial and other historical buildings.Thanks for commenting.