Here's what's happening in Bedford to honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day

Events are happening Tuesday through Sunday


BEDFORD, Va. – While the 75th Anniversary of D-Day isn’t until Thursday, a variety of events starting on Tuesday will be happening to commemorate the anniversary.

On Tuesday, “Drawing D-Day: An Artist’s Journey Through War” book signing and reception will be held at the Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg. One of the book’s authors, Maxine Giannini, will be at the event which begins at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, those visiting the Memorial we be able to see the U.S. Naval Academy Plaque dedication. That is scheduled to happen at 3 p.m.

Thursday, the 75th anniversary, has two main events at the Memorial. At 10 a.m., there will be an aerial tribute to the veterans of WWII.

Then, at 11 a.m.,“The Final Salute” commemorative observance will be held. Vice President Mike Pence is the event’s keynote speaker.

If you’re looking to attend Thursday’s events, make sure you arrive early. The commemoration is expected to be the largest event since the Memorial’s dedication in 2001. Also, parking will not be available at the Memorial. Click here for a list of places where you can park and ride a free shuttle to the Memorial. The memorial will be offering extended hours Thursday and will be open until 9 p.m.

Beginning Thursday and lasting thorough Sunday is the “Living History Flight Experience.” At the Lynchburg Regional Airport, you can ride in a piece of history aboard the famous C-47 “Whiskey 7” or B-17 “The Movie Memphis Belle.” Tickets are required in advance for the rides. This will be located at the Lynchburg Regional Airport, 350 Terminal. Tickets are $95 to ride in Whiskey 7 and are $450 to sit in a crew station seat or $650 to sit in a bombardier, navigator or engineer station in “The Movie Memphis Belle.”

Also running from Thursday to Sunday are performances of “Tuesday Mourning.” Tickets for the play based upon the personal stories of WWII soldiers from Bedford cost $10 each. Performances are being held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with an additional 2 p.m. performance on Saturday and a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee.

Also Thursday, the Academy Award winning film, “Saving Private Ryan,” will be shown at the Historic Academy Theatre in downtown Lynchburg. The showing is free.

On Friday, visitors can come back to the Memorial at 7 p.m. for a free outdoor concert. Patriotic music and World War II-era songs will be performed by the 29th Infantry Division Band and West Point Alumni Glee Club. The U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team will also be taking part in the evening’s festivities.

The 75th anniversary commemoration continues Saturday with the Parade of the Greatest Generation in downtown Bedford. The 11 a.m. event will feature vintage cars, marching bands, veterans and World War II living historians. Click here to view a map of the parade route.

Saturday afternoon at the Historic Academy Theatre in Lynchburg will be a free concert by the United States Air Force Heritage Brass Band.

To conclude the 75th D-Day anniversary observance will be the Field Chapel Service at the Memorial. The message given at the 11 a.m. event will be similar to what the troops would have heard on the eve of the D-Day invasion.