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National D-Day Memorial Outing  

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolf Hitler’s troops. Proportionally Bedford Virginia suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses. Recognizing Bedford as emblematic of all communities, large and small, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day, Congress warranted the establishment of the National D-Day Memorial here. The Memorial was dedicated on June 6th, 2001 by President George W. Bush. Our Outing tour guide will be Dick Elder, instructor for the spring OLLI course “Remembering D-Day: 75 Years Later” and a Memorial volunteer guide since 2010. As we stroll through the beautiful grounds with its amazing sculptures, Dick will guide us through the Memorial’s remembrance of World War II and its politics and perils. A late lunch will follow at Liberty Station Restaurant. The restaurant is on the site of the Bedford rail station where the Bedford Boys left home for the war.