Home of the Brave

Where is that home? One place is Bedford, Virginia, site of the National D-Day Memorial and a town that paid the supreme sacrifice.

The National D-Day Memorial, which opened on June 6, 2001, in Bedford, Virginia, honors all servicemen of the Allied nations who participated in the D-Day invasion of France. Among them were the men of the 116th Infantry Regiment, composed of Virginia national guardsmen. Thirty-five guardsmen from Bedford rode in some of the first assault boats to land on Omaha Beach. Before the day was over, 21 men from Bedford lost their lives, while two more in other companies died. Nineteen of the men were killed in the first 15 minutes of the battle. Bedford, then a population of 3,000, suffered the largest loss of life per capita of any town in the country on D-Day.

THE FOLLOWING GAVE THEIR LIVES IN FRANCE:

Company A
Leslie C. Abbott, Jr.
Wallace R. Carter
John D. Clifton
Andrew J. Coleman
Frank P. Draper, Jr.
Taylor N. Fellers
Charles W. Fizer
Nick N. Gillaspie
Bedford T. Hoback
Raymond S. Hoback
Clifton G. Lee
Earl L. Parker
Jack G. Powers
John F. Reynolds
Weldon A. Rosazza
John B. Schenk
Ray O. Stevens
Gordon H. White, Jr.
John L. Wilkes
Elmere P. Wright
Grant C. Yopp

Company C
Joseph E. Parker, Jr.

Company F
John W. Dean

For more information about the National D-Day Memorial, see www.dday.org.

This article is from the June 2001 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.