Man Honors Veterans By Volunteering at D-Day Memorial

BEDFORD, V.A. -- Joe Humphrey was not on the beaches of Normandy, but he can tell you just about everything that happened.

"On the morning of June 6, 1944, the invasion consisted of about 5,000 ships, 10,000 aircraft, and about 156,000 troops."

The Korean War Veteran has been giving tours at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, since it opened in 2001. Just like his service in the military, he is proud to volunteer.

"I felt like this was a good opportunity to honor then men that made the invasion and I feel pretty strongly about the memorial itself," explained Joe Humphrey, volunteer, National D-Day Memorial.

Humphrey knows each of the names of the men lost and the stories that inspired the sculptures.

"This [sculpture] represents the two Hoback boys, the one they found, and several days later they found his brother's Bible."

READ: Bible Returned to Missing Soldier's Family

"You feel really proud of them and even though you have that sadness in your heart that they are no longer with us, you know that they died serving their country and you feel proud of them," explained Lucille Boggess.

Lucille Boggess is Raymond and Bedford Hoback's younger sister. Her brothers were killed on D-Day.

Like Humphrey, she also volunteers at the memorial.

"The fact that we have the memorial here is a constant reminder of the loss that this community suffered," explained Boggess. "Of course the purpose of having it there is to educate the young people so they won't forget."

READ: WFMY Partners to Honor WWII Veterans on D-Day Anniversary

"If we hadn't of been careful, if we hadn't of won World War II, things in this country would be a whole lot worse," said Humphrey.

So no one forgets the sacrifice of that day, Humphrey continues to tell the stories of the Hoback brothers, the Bedford boys, and the thousands of service-members who made sure our country remained free.

"In the end we did win and made the world a whole lot safer," said Humphrey.

READ: VA Town Home to Nation's D-Day Memorial, Great Loss


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