The D-Day Memorial is a very special place and is a “must see” if you have not yet visited and this Saturday, July 21st, there is a 1940s Homefront Festival, just a short drive from Smith Mountain Lake. A short history on the memorial goes back to June 6th, 1944 when the United States soldiers, in one of the most pivotal battles of World War II, invaded the French coastline in order to propel German soldiers out of Western Europe and lead the way for victory against the tyrants of that era. Dedicated on June 6th, 2001 by president George W. Bush, the National D-Day Memorial was constructed in honor of those who died that day, fighting in one of the most significant battles in our nations history.
Bedford, Virginia…like eleven other Virginia communities, Bedford provided a company of thirty soldiers (Company A) that were activated on February 3, 1941. They were still in that company on D-Day and several more from Bedford were in other D-Day companies. By the day’s end, nineteen of the company’s Bedford soldiers were dead. Two more Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign, as did yet another two assigned to other 11th Infantry companies. Bedford’s population was about 3,200. Proportionally, this community 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 there. They were forever known as the “Bedford Boys.”
On Saturday, July 21st from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., you can take a step back in time and experience life in the 1940s! The event will include a WWII Veterans Reunion Tent, WWI and WWII “Profiles of Honor” mobile museum tour, performances by the Star City Starlettes, WWII living history displays, kids activities and crafts, local farm and artisan vendors, food trucks, guided walking tours of the National D-Day Memorial, and more!
Rent a condo at Mariners Landing Resort at Smith Mountain Lake and plan your day at the d-Day Memorial. Admission is free for students and military, and regular admission fees apply to adults. You can click here to plan your visit!
We will bring you all the fun things to do around the lake all year long!