The first wave of battle at Normandy – with the most casualties – was led by the Army’s 29th Division, made up mostly of Virginians. Virginia and Bedford are forever linked with D-Day as a symbol of America’s sacrifice. The Virginia National Guard, the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Division, was one of the two first assault regiments on Omaha Beach, scene of the bloodiest fighting on D-Day.
In 1996, the City of Bedford was selected by Congress as the official site of the nation’s memorial to the Allied Forces involved in the D-Day invasion. One of the reasons was because the city (with a 1944 population of 3,200) had the highest per capita losses of any community in America during the landings on the Normandy coastline.
The Memorial’s 88-acre site, with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop, featured sculptural tributes to all service branches, Victory Plaza and the massive overlord arch, ringed by the flags of the Allied Expeditionary Forces.
The Lynchburg Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau offers military reunion planners a “War & Peace” package that includes admission to the National D-Day Memorial, a visit to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (where the nation reunited following the War Between the States) and a tour of one of Lynchburg’s five historic districts.
For a complete Reunion Planner package contact Lynchburg Regional CVB at 800-732-5821; firstname.lastname@example.org.