Hundreds pay tribute to fallen servicemen at National D-Day Memorial

On Monday, they’ll meet back at the memorial for the 78th anniversary of D-Day

Our veterans give a lot to this country, sometimes, even paying the ultimate sacrifice. As many celebrate Memorial Day, it’s important to take the time to observe it the way it was intended.

BEDFORD, Va. – Our veterans give a lot to this country, and sometimes even pay the ultimate sacrifice. As many celebrate Memorial Day, it’s important to take the time to observe it the way it was intended.

Hundreds of people from all over the Commonwealth gathered Monday at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford to remember and honor the sacrifice these brave men and women made, putting it all on the line for our freedom.

“He said, ‘You know we cannot come and get you,’” Vietnam War Veteran Dave Carey said. “At which point I couldn’t think of anything clever to say. Dean said, ‘I’ll see you when this is over.’”

One of those men is Carey, who is speaking of the day he was captured and the next five years he’d spend as a prisoner of war.

“It was like I was the only person in the universe,” he said. “We did what we had to do, we did our best, we chose to grow through the situation, we kept our sense of humor and we kept the faith.”

Among the crowd, 93-year-old World War II Veteran Daniel Villarial paid his tributes. Moments like this make him all the more proud to have served his country.

“It’s good to know there are a lot of patriotic people still left in this country,” he said. “There are a lot who are thanking us, who are still alive, for doing what we did to keep this a free country.”

Villarial and Carey came home, but there are more than 12 million Americans who never did. Every number a life of a beloved serviceman. It’s up to us to keep their memories alive.

“I know, as clearly as I’m standing here, I don’t deserve it,” Carey said. “I don’t know you, and I’ve only been watching you for a few minutes, but I’m ready to bet you don’t deserve it either.”

Following the ceremony, folks headed over to the cemetery to lay flowers on the Bedford Boys’ graves. On next Monday, they’ll meet back at the memorial for the 78th anniversary of D-Day.


About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.