VA Town Home to National D-Day Memorial, Great Loss

BEDFORD, Va. -- Nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a place that knows all too well the meaning of sacrifice.

"You can't live here for any period of time at all and not become familiar with the story of the Bedford Boys," explained Martin Leamy, Site Facilites Manager, National D-Day Memorial.

"This was a picture of Raymond when he was leaving home. I think it's kind of sad, he's got his pack, getting ready to leave," explained Lucille Boggess as she looked at a picture of her brother, Raymond Hoback.

The picture was taken on the last day Lucille ever saw her brother.

Raymond, and her other brother, Bedford, were among the first troops to land on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.They were both killed - as were 17 other young men from their hometown of Bedford, Va.

"Nineteen out of 35 National Guardsmen from Company A of the 116th Regiment, were killed almost immediately when they landed on Omaha Beach," said Joe Humphrey, Tour Guide, National D-Day Memorial.

Bedford had the highest per capita loss than any single community in the United States. Because of it's sacrifice, the town was chosen as the location for the National D-Day Memorial. Since it opened in 2001, more than one million people have heard the story of the Bedford Boys.

"It allows us to keep the memory alive," explained Leamy. "We've had people ask us well when all the D-day veterans pass, won't the monument not mean as much? And I would say quite the opposite. Our job becomes more important because it becomes incumbent upon us to keep their memories alive for them."

To learn more, visit year will be the 70th anniversary of D-Day. To honor the men and women who served and sacrificed, the National D-Day Memorial is hosting a special commemoration. WFMY News 2 has teamed up with Rotary District 7690 to take Triad WWII Veterans to this special event.

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


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