Friday, July 13, 2012

D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Virginia

Before the ride home from the Senior Saints trip, we headed to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. 
To my surprise, this is not a government funded memorial.  There are organizations that do care about our WWII veterans that died on that day and during that war and they contribute to this memorial to keep the truth of the war out there for younger generations.  I liked that, depending on their guest book signatures, these organizations are willing to match dollar for dollar, what they pledge.  So if you're ever near the memorial, drop by there, take a tour of the memorial, and make sure to sign their guest book.  It takes about an hour to walk it.  They have umbrellas for you to help keep you shaded and they are very nice people, ready and willing to share any information they can with you about D-Day and WWII.
Around the English Garden, were the busts of the six top leaders that were directly under Dwight D. Eisenhower.  That's his statue below.
They were all great men. Some not having the greatest of personalities, but wise men, none-the-less.
Where the names of the fallen soldiers were displayed on plaques, were hundreds of flags representing the countries of our fallen allies.
And our American soldiers.
 I wish Bruce or Justin were home.  For the LIFE of me I can not remember what these are called, but there were hundreds of them placed in the ocean around the beaches so when the Americans and allies came close to the beach it would tear up their boats.  They were hidden in the water and difficult to see if the waters were high.  They ended up having to wait for the tide to be low before trying to get to reach the beaches. 
If you've seen movies or documentaries on WWII, you probably recognize the boat in the background there.  This one is made to scale.  They could fit between thirty-two to thirty-eight men in them.  The door would drop and the soldiers would run out.  Many of them never touched the water with their feet, before they were shot to death by the enemy.
This statue represented what was important to our soldiers.  If you'll look closely, there is a fallen soldier with a Bible by his head. 
When they were cleaning up the beaches after D-day, there was a Bible found, wrapped several times in plastic.  It was unharmed, and the family name was written clearly in the front cover. 
The owner of that Bible had died on D-day.  But the Bible was taken back to the states and given to the family of the fallen soldier. 
We missed seeing and meeting her, but the sister of that fallen soldier had come to the memorial the day we visited and told the memorial staff that she had willed the Bible to them upon her death.
Statues representing our soldiers storming the beaches.
Statues representing our soldiers climbing the cliffs on the beaches.  They had to conquer a lot in order to conquer the enemy.  Well over 4,000 American soldiers died on those beaches that day.
 My mom and I were humbled by this tour.  To see and hear what these brave men went through on that day was overwhelming.  Knowing that my grandpa was there, explained to us why he never would talk about it.
Me and my mama.
My and my buddy, Dana.
Mom bought a flag, wrote grandpa's name on it, and placed it in a flag memorial.
It was very emotional for her.
I love this picture.  Someone else that saw it said it reminded them of Little House on the Prairie and I had to laugh, because that's exactly what it reminded me of.
This was a beautiful memorial and one that everyone should stop and visit if they're traveling through or near Bedford, Virginia.  It is well worth the tour.