Jul 3, 2010

Remembering D-Day in Bedford, Virginia

When visiting the Washington D.C. area, please consider seeing the National D-Day Memorial Foundation in Bedford, Virginia.
Imagine a place where the lessons and legacy of D-Day are remembered and preserved, a place where veterans of all ages are welcomed and honored, a place where visitors discover and recognize the worthy service of those who answer duty’s call, a place where gravity and dignity are hallmarks. The National D-Day Memorial is such a place.

Deliberately sited to rise above the community that experienced this country’s severest per capita losses on D-Day, the National D-Day Memorial reminds all who enter it of the heavy price that heartland communities have paid, and still pay, for freedom. ...

D-Day: It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitlers dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.

After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.

When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.

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