Bible of late Bedford solider donated to National D-Day Memorial

While Raymond Hoback’s remains were never found, his Bible made its way back to his hometown

BEDFORD, Va. – A piece of history is now being preserved for generations to come.

A Bible, once belonging to Raymond Hoback, a 24-year-old solider from Bedford, is now in the hands of the National D-Day Memorial.

Raymond and his brother, Bedford were among the 20 men from Bedford killed on D-Day.

Raymond’s body was never recovered, but his Bible was found on the beaches of Normandy and sent back to his family.

“To see something that Raymond carried on the beaches that day. It just makes it very very powerful and a moving testament to his service and sacrifice. And something we should all remember when we see it, what was given that day,” said National D-Day Memorial Foundation President and CEO, April Cheek Messier.

Since 1944, the Bible has been in possession of the Hoback family, most recently kept by Raymond’s younger sister, Lucille Hoback Boggess.

This month, the family decided to donate the Bible to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.

“It definitely has brought peace of mind to my mother to not only be a part of the process but know that it’s being safely stored,” said Boggess’ son, John.

The hope is for the legacy of Raymond and the thousands of other fallen soldiers from D-Day can be remembered for generations to come.

“When you can come to a palace that is peaceful and reflect on the loss, the human loss, the family loss because that is the piece about war that is so critical to understand. It’s not the loss of one person. It’s the ripple effect that that loss can cause, the damage that it can cause,” said John.

Raymond’s Bible and other artifacts from the Hoback family can be found at the National D-Day Memorial’s Fleda A. Ring Education Quonset Hut.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.