National D-Day Memorial hosts annual event to honor the 4,415 men killed in war
BEDFORD, Va. – The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford is hosting its annual Flames of Memory event this weekend. Staff and volunteers were out Friday morning, arranging bags with battery-operated candles throughout the memorial’s grounds. Those luminarias will light up the night sky through Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.Each one represents a man killed on D-Day. There are 4,415 of them. “It’s really hard when you hear a number like that to imagine what that would look like, but this event allows you to see that by seeing all of the bags that are placed, starting at Burks Hill Road, all the way throughout the memorial,” said Maggie Hartley, associate director for programming and events for the National D-Day MemorialAdmission is free and donations are welcome.
Church bells ring in Bedford for the 75th anniversary of V-E Day
BEDFORD, Va. – Bedford has a deep connection to World War II, and the town commemorated one of the war’s most important dates Friday morning. Church bells filled the air for the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, the day World War II officially ended in Europe. 19 men from Bedford, known as the “Bedford Boys,” were killed while storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, which itself commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day last year, had planned a parade in town for V-E Day. Although the parade has been canceled, National D-Day Memorial President April Cheek-Messier said the bells still illustrate the significance of this day.
Thousands gather to honor, celebrate veterans in Bedford for Veterans Day
BEDFORD, Va. - For Veterans Day, thousands came to celebrate veterans at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. Local elementary students paid tribute in songs, while high school students brought in the flags. Peter Caddick-Adams writes in "Sand and Steel" more than 4,000 people died on D-Day, but 10,000 soldiers died during the training before the war. So really, I think we need to be paying tribute to those who died in the training and preparation as on that first day of combat," Caddick-Adams said. At the end of the program, veterans lined up to be embraced and thanked by local students and community.
Local student remembers grandfather, WWII veteran, at D-Day memorial
The field trip brought tears and memories for one student, Aaron Cole. Aaron's grandfather, Richard "Dick" E. Cole, served during WWII and was part of the Doolittle Raid. He got an airplane called B-25," said Aaron Cole, the 21-year-old student who has Down syndrome. Aaron even got to carry around a piece of his "pops" -- a leather jacket that belonged to Richard Cole during the raid. Even though Richard Cole is gone, Aaron said his "pops" will always be close to his heart.
Veteran with special place in history visits Bedford D-Day memorial
BEDFORD, Va. - A World War II veteran who fought in the invasion of Normandy visited the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford Tuesday for the first time. On Tuesday, he visited the memorial, which was built to honor men and women like him, and shared stories with the media about his time in the Army. He said young people need to learn about these aspects of history to understand what he and other soldiers went through. Theres not many of them left, Oregon resident and veteran Bruce Turner said of World War II veterans. Everything about him inspires me to be a better man, to be a better person, to be a better Christian.