Located in Bedford, Virginia, the National D-Day Memorial aims to preserve the legacy of the infamous D-Day and continue to share the lessons learned. Visitors can expect to find a wonderfully-preserved memorial, a variety of patriotic events, family-friendly educational programs, and even many ways to volunteer and get involved.
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The memorial site was founded to memorialize one of the most epic battles and major turning point for the Allies in World War II. On the 6th of June in 1944, the United States invaded the French coast of Normandy in order to push German forces out of Europe. This battle was won and is marked as the day that the war was won, and the tyranny of the era was put to an end.
It is now known as “D-Day” and this monument was built in honor of those brave soldiers who dies fighting on that beach. Each year the monument receives approximately 60,000 visitors and is one of the most popular memorial sites in America.
The memorial stretches for more than 80 acres and at the center is a 44-foot tall arch named “Overlord”. There is a large reflecting pool which is surrounding by a large mass of soldiers which is meant to represent the gruesome, bloody beaches of Normandy.
The entire memorial takes visitors on a tour of World War II and engulfs them in one of the most important battles of American history. Visitors of all ages are sure to learn the lessons preserved by this memorial and gain an invaluable educational experience.
Lunchbox Lecture Series: About once a month the D-Day memorial will host a lunchtime lecture series about something related to the historical day. For the month of January 2018, the site hosted Captain James Ransom as he spoke about the role of the Navy and the Coast Guard on D-Day. His lecture series was entitled “D-Day and Operation Neptune: The Naval Contribution”. Read more about it here.
WWII Book Club: Each year, there is a World War II themed book club which aims to raise awareness about the horrific time that was World War II. This year it will be hosted from February 12, 2018 to April 9, 2018 at Happycoffee on Bridge Street in Bedford. Visitors interested in thought-provoking fun are welcome to attend – email email@example.com for more information.
Armed Forces Day 5K: Each year in the spring, there is a 5K run hosted at the memorial site in honor of Armed Forces Day. This year’s event is on May 19, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. Interested runners or volunteers are invited to register now and celebrate a day filled with healthy fun to support the armed forces and a get free T-shirt. The race begins and ends at the National D-Day memorial site and prizes will be awarded after the race.
WWII Film Conference: The 20th annual World War II film conference will be hosted this year on June 5 from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Liberty University. Author and historical film consultant Dr. Donald Miller will be speaking at the event. The beloved film, Saving Private Ryan will be screened at 6:45 p.m. at eh Liberty University School of Music Concert Hall.
Plan Your Visit:
The memorial is open year-round from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. but it closed on national holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s. There are changing schedules based on maintenance and winter months, be sure to check the website for more information.
Also, planning your trip around patriotic holidays such as Independence day is sure not to disappoint as there are usually parades and all kinds of celebrations for the entire family.
Education and Programs:
There are a wide variety of educational opportunities and programs hosted year-round at the National D-Day Memorial site. There are many resources for students and teachers, as well as the National D-Day Educational Center. The website is also filled with all kinds of educational articles and stories about that infamous day and the lessons learned.
The National D-Day Memorial, P.O. Box 77 | Bedford, VA 24523, Phone: 540-586-3329