wsls logo

How the Bedford Boys Tribute Center came to be

It’s all thanks to a retired couple who was living in Oklahoma City

While nearly 20 years have passed since the National D-Day Memorial dedication, it’s been more than 75 years since the day Bedford fell to her knees.

BEDFORD, Va. – While nearly 20 years have passed since the National D-Day Memorial dedication, it’s been more than 75 years since the day Bedford fell to her knees.

Ken Parker and his wife, Linda, spend seven days a week running the Bedford Boys Tribute Center.

It’s not a job, but rather, a way of life in their new hometown.

“Three years ago my wife and I were happily retired in Oklahoma City. What has happened here in our relationship with Bedford, the townsfolk and the Bedford Boys is almost indescribable,” said Ken Parker.

Ken Parker, the founder of the Bedford Boys Tribute Center (WSLS 10)

It all started when the Parkers were planning a trip to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.

They reached out to the families of the Bedford Boys, asking if there was anything they wanted placed on the young men’s graves while in France.

That thoughtful question sparked a lasting connection.

“From that experience, we learned that the nephews and nieces of the Bedford Boys wanted the Boys’ legacies to continue, so we began writing a book,” explained Parker.

While the book isn’t expected to be published until 2022, the Parkers have been busy creating a space in downtown Bedford that certainly tells the story of the 20 young men who sacrificed their lives on the altar of our freedom.

We’ll have more from Parker on Friday at 7:30 p.m., during “20 years later: Soluting Service and Sacrifice” on WSLS 10.


About the Author:

After working and going to school in Central Virginia for over five years, Lindsey’s made her way back home to the mountains.