This National D-Day Memorial is easy to get to from highway 460, just follow the brown signs and stop into the visitor center to buy your admission tickets. Cost is $12, $10, $8 Adults, Military, Student respectively. If it's a warm sunny day wear a wide brim hat or umbrella. Take advantage of the guided tours, no extra cost, all the symbolism of the layout is explained as well as the particulars of D-Day at Omaha Beach. Wow !
One would want to ask the question, Why is the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA, we asked for you and got this answer.
The "Bedford Boys" and the location of the memorial
Thirty-four Virginia National Guard soldiers from the town of Bedford were part of D-Day. Nineteen of them were killed during the first day of the invasion, and four more died during the rest of the Normandy campaign. The town and the "Bedford Boys" had proportionately suffered the greatest losses of the campaign, thus inspiring the United States Congress to establish the D-Day memorial in Bedford.
The Bedford Boys included two sets of brothers: twins Roy and Ray Stevens, with Ray killed during the landing while Roy survived, and Bedford and Raymond Hoback, both killed. The losses by the soldiers from Bedford were chronicled in the best-selling book The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw, and helped inspire the movie Saving Private Ryan. The movie's director, Steven Spielberg, helped fund the memorial, including funding for the creation of the Arnold M. Spielberg Theater, in honor of his father, a World War II veteran. Another notable donor to get this started was Charles Shulz the famous cartoonist with his million dollar donation was a D-Day invasion veteran!
The memorial is a continuum of three distinct plazas which follow on a time line. The first plaza, Reynold's Garden, symbolizes the planning and preparation activities for the invasion through the execution of the order for the invasion. It is in the shape of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force combat patch. The second level, Gray Plaza, reflects the landing and fighting stages of the invasion. It includes what is called the invasion pool with beach obstacles in the water, sculptures of soldiers struggling ashore, and a representation of the Higgins craft used for the invasion. This section includes intermittent jets of water spurting from the pool replicating the sights and sounds of sporadic gunfire. The names of the United States' losses appear on the west necrology wall of the central plaza, the rest of the Allies' losses on the east necrology wall. In the spirit of Dwight D. Eisenhower's one-team command philosophy for the AEF, no other distinctions are made. The last and uppermost plaza, Estes Plaza, celebrates victory and includes the Overlord Arch and the twelve flags of those Allied nations that served in the Allied Expeditionary Force. The Overlord Arch represents the victory of Operation Overlord and bears the invasion date of June 6, 1944 in its height at 44 feet (13 m) and 6 inches (150 mm) tall.
Tomorrow We Move to D.C.