The anniversary of D-Day is fast approaching, and while the memory of the horrific and heroic goings-on of that day is kept alive through movies, books, and even television shows, the reality is that it has been 75 years since our American soldiers invaded France by landing on the beaches of Normandy, 75 years since 425,000 allied forces and German troops gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect what we hold dear: freedom. When the news came down, there wasn’t a single American unaffected; even here in the small town of Bedford, 20 soldiers were lost, and in 2001 we dedicated a memorial to them, their families, and friends. Because this is probably the very last year any of the soldiers that survived the battle will be around to tell their stories, The Final Salute: 75th Anniversary of D-Day Commemoration is going to be an extra-special event you won’t want to miss!
The original dedication of this special memorial attracted over 24,000 people and this major event promises to reach even higher numbers! As the remaining veterans tell their stories (the youngest veterans of this war are in their 90s), the celebrations will continue over five days, with the main events actually occurring on June 6th. Visitors can expect to see parades in the streets, WWII fighter planes taking over the skies, veteran reunions that will bring tears to your eyes, and a very special production of Tuesday Mourning, a portrayal of the sacrifices we made right here in Bedford on that bloody Tuesday 75 years ago. In addition to Tuesday Mourning, screenings of Saving Private Ryan will be offered every day of the event; realistic, intense, and powerfully emotional, this film brings back that day in vivid color.
The Normandy veteran roll call will be an emotional one, as sadly, many of the veterans from the battle will have moved on to a sweeter place where we can’t see them, but they can watch over us and protect us once more. The veteran roll call is included in the Final Salute Commemorative Observance of the D-Day activities from which viewers can expect heart-wrenching speeches, music that makes memories, and dignitaries from all over the world. There will also be a mobile museum dedicated to Virginia’s heroes from both WWI and WWII, more music from a band called Enduring Freedom, a USO show, and of course, food and drink provided by a cavalcade of food trucks. This homage to D-Day promises to be an epic one!
After a long and emotional day at The Final Salute, Smith Mountain Lake residents will be glad to return to their comfortable, stylish, and restful homes. If you’re looking to move into one of the beautiful properties on or near the lake, give us a call today! Our expert real estate agents will help you make the move to Smith Mountain Lake.