D-Day memorial unveils new plaques, longest surviving Bedford Boy's memori

Book and tour were celebrated at a 1940s inspired reception Friday

BEDFORD, Va. – It was a night of milestones for people in the town of Bedford. The Naitonal D-Day Memorial showed off a new set of historical markers and celebrated the release of a one of a kind book Friday night.

People come from all over the world to Bedford to visit the memorial. Now, visitors are getting an even better picture of the town that made the ultimate sacrifice and the final thoughts of the longest surviving Bedford Boy.

"We are the nations monument to D-Day, but the reason why the monument exists here in Bedford is because of the community's tremendous sacrifice," National D-Day Memorial Foundation spokeswoman Angela Lynch said.

Friday, the town and the foundation unveiled an expanded tour of that community, adding three new plaques. One is at Fisher's Restaraunt, one at Liberty Station and the third at Green's Drug Store, each with a story to tell about how they lived the war effort. The new title of the tour, Bedford Boys Homefront Tour, highlights the community that didn't ask for the fame.

"From farm boy to fighting men and I think we would be remiss to not remember the sacrifice of the community, their families, who were back here missing them," Lynch said.

And for a first hand account of what happened, Elisha "Ray" Nance's memoir is now a reality. The surviving family of the Nance, the last Bedford Boy, published his book of experiences before, during and after the war.

"We're here, we remember them, we will never for get them, this town can't forget," Nance's daughter Susan Nance Cobb said.

Walking around Bedford now you can truly follow in their footsteps, knowing what happened where and how it all plays a part.

"The train station which is now a restaurant is where they left to off for their training and eventually to go off to war so it's just important to remember the sacrafice not only of the men and their families but of the community as a whole," Lynch said.

Together telling that much more about the small town with a big story to share. Next, organizers hope to expand the tour with something akin to a trolley tour in the future. 

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