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On 69th anniversary, D-Day Memorial plans new exhibit honoring Bedford's sacrifice

By Tim Saunders
Published On: Jun 06 2013 03:31:22 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 06 2013 06:42:22 PM EDT
On 69th anniversary, D-Day Memorial plans new exhibit honoring Bedford's sacrifice
BEDFORD, Va. -

When America pauses to remember June 6, hundreds normally flock to the Overlord Arch in Bedford.

That wasn't the case Thursday.  A tropical storm moved the event that's normally held at the National D-Day Memorial.

As rain fell outside, tears flowed inside at Bedford Elementary School.

"We wanted to be here," said Evelyn Richardson, who traveled with a group from Tennessee for Thursday's ceremony.  "I have read the story of the 'Bedford Boys' and was so impressed by it."

The "Bedford Boys" are the 21 men from Bedford who died during the Normandy invasion.

The town lost more soldiers, per-capita, than any other community in America on D-Day.  It's why the D-Day Memorial is located there, but right now you won't see the Bedford story mentioned anywhere at the monument.

"We have tried not to emphasize the Bedford Boys' story to the point that it takes away from the emphasis that this is a national monument," said April Cheek-Messier, co-president of the National D-Day Memorial.

That's about to change.  The memorial is raising money to build "Homage," an exhibit that will educate people about Bedford's loss.

Lucille Boggess knows the story well.  Her two older brothers, twins Bedford and Raymond, were among those killed.

"I just think the story of D-Day and the loss this community suffered is so important for the young people and that's the purpose of the D-Day Memorial," said Boggess.  "To keep this story going."

With the Homage exhibit now in the works, the D-Day story can be fully told; not just the anniversary, but every day.