Despite storm delay, Memorial Day ceremony held at National D-Day Memorial

BEDFORD, Va. – Despite stormy conditions, the Memorial Day ceremony went on an hour later than planned but welcomed hundreds of people.

Speakers shared the stories of three heroes of D-Day and the sacrifices they made.

“We use those stories to really tell the broader story as a nation of all of those who served and sacrificed,” April Cheek-Messier, President and CEO National D-Day Memorial Foundation said.

The accounts touched many of the people who attended, including former member of the Navy, Catherine Schweitzer.

“It hits close to home when you say goodbye to brothers and sisters,” Schweitzer said.

The ceremony was not just about remembering the past but keeping the future in mind, too.

“To see so many young people with their parents, with their families, that means everything because if we’re not passing that on to the next generation then it’s lost,” Cheek-Messier said.

“We homeschool our kids, so we knew that this was a great opportunity to be able to see history,” parent Wendy Levanway said.

Levanway said her family learned an important lesson.

“Big or small, you can do hard things and being encouraged by other people who’ve done hard things can help you today to do your hard thing,” Levanway said.

This year, the National D-Day Memorial Foundation honors the memories of three heroes of D-Day with the inclusion of their names on the Memorial’s Necrology Wall: John Norbert “Jack” Murphy, Harvey Edgar Jones, and Richard N. Hoag. The Foundation’s research team determined each died on June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of Normandy. Guest readers shared stories of heroism and sacrifice during the ceremony.

The Foundation also dedicated the latest narrative plaque titled “Tin Cans Save the Day on D-Day” and the latest installment of veteran bricks. Guests had the opportunity to view the moving Fallen Defenders – Past to Present battle cross display.

About the Authors

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m. She also leads our monthly Solutionaries Series, where we highlight the creative thinkers and doers working to make the world a better place.

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.

Recommended Videos