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National D-Day Memorial hosts 80th Anniversary event

The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford is hosting a ceremony later this morning, featuring Governor Glenn Youngkin, who will be speaking, and laying a wreath.

Thousands of people come to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford to remember the soldiers from that day. More than 2,500 Americans died on D-Day, according to the National D-Day Memorial. Twenty men from Bedford lost their lives, known as the Bedford Boys.

One organization, the Bedford International Alliance, was founded in 1999 to remember their sacrifice. Bedford suffered the greatest loss per capita of any American community.

“We need to remember they were local boys. We lost the most boys of any community in the United States per capita and in this day in time. We’ve got to drill it into people about the boys and what their sacrifice was,” said President Steve Rush of the Bedford International Alliance.

The Bedford International Alliance hosts several events, like Memorial Day ceremonies. It also promotes the international alliance between the Town of Bedford and Bedford County, the communities of Omaha Beach, Bedfordshire, and Ivybridge.

The Bedford International Alliance also hosts a trip for its members to visit to Normandy. The group will be going next June, and when they go its members will team up with a similar organization in France called the Omaha Beach-Bedford Association. The Bedford International Alliance plans on visiting the cemetery in France. Members will also go to Ivybridge and Bedfordshire where the Bedford Boys trained.

Members of the Omaha Beach-Bedford Association will come here in October.

Another goal of the Bedford International Alliance is to help people remember the men who sacrificed their lives and fought on D-Day.

“The whole purpose of it is to make sure that the 20 boys, actually, will not be forgotten, and we do that by doing events every year. We do the Memorial Day event at the cemetery. We go into the schools and provide materials for the teachers,” said Rush.

Source: WSLS News 10

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