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D-Day Memorial

On Friday afternoon, I traveled to Bedford. Virginia to

visit the National D-Day Memorial.

 

 

The entrance way into the Memorial.  I took a very informative

tour at the start of my visit.  The Memorial was built as a

place where the lessons and legacy of D-Day can be remembered

and preserved.  The memorial was dedicated on June 6, 2001 and

it exists to tribute the valor, fidelity and sacrifice of the

Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

 

 

Eisenhower's Order of the Day is place below a replica of the SHAEF patch

that is visible on the wall of Reynold's garden.

Directly below is General Eisenhower's D-Day Order of the Day,

given to each troop as they filed into their transports

and landing crafts for the invasion.

"You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade,

toward which we have striven these many months.

The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes

and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere

march with you. In company with our brave Allies

and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will

bring about the destruction of the German war machine,

the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed

peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world." 

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

 

The Reynolds's English garden near the Eisenhower tribute. 

The statue is standing in an English folly.  Flowers are planted either

side of the white stones representing a mighty sword of battle.

The garden represents the planning and preparation stage of the invasion

 

 

A statue of General Dwight D. Eisenhower,

Commander of Operation Overlord. 

 

 

A statue of a U.S.A. Ranger depicting the scaling of

the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc.

 

 

One of the L-3 Observation Plane that flew over the Normandy

landscape identifying enemy targets.

 

 

A depiction of the beach landing.  This spot is a large reflecting

pool which was drained due to a leakage problem

 

 

Le Monument aux Morts, Created by sculptor Edmond de Laheudrie and

dedicated on May 16, 1921 in memory of forty-four men of Treviere, France

who died in World War I .  This replica at the Memorial shows the statue after it

was struck in D- Day battle.

Bedford has the distinction of being the town that had the

most soldiers killed in action on D-Day.  Nineteen men were killed

in the initial day of the landing and 3 more the next day.  This Memorial is

honors the Valor, Fidelity and Sacrifice of all the

Allied Forces that on D-Day fought to free Europe from tyranny.

 

This a "do not miss spot" for travelers.  Most moving and inspirational. 

 

Saturday morning found me driving to Roanoke to visit two

museums that had railroad displays.  First stop was at the

Virginia Transportation Museum located in the old

Norfolk and Western freight yards.  There were many

locomotives and cars on display.

 

One of the last large steam locomotives built by the

Norfolk and Western at their stops in Roanoke.

 

 

The famous passenger locomotive 611 was also built at

the N & W shops in Roanoke.  Like locomotive 1281 it was

restored a few years but is now a

static display at the museum.

 

 

Rolling stock on display included this heavy duty railroad

crane used to lift derailed cars.

 

After delightful couple of hours at the Transportation Museum,

I venture to the nearby former Norfolk and Western

Passenger Station which is now a museum of the

photography of O. Winston Link.  Mr. Link created an extensive

collection of black and white photographs of the last days of

the use steam locomotives on the Norfolk and Western Railroad. 

The photos were truly outstanding in their composition and detail.

 

Sunday was a day of free time for me up to 5:00 pm when

I had to register for my week long Elderhostel

program at the Natural Bridge site.  I elected to

drive over to Appomattox Court house.  It was

only am hour and half away and it was a

Civil War site I have always wanted to visit. 

t is truly interesting site that brought the

war between the states to an end. 

 

 

It was a beautiful sight to see Old Glory flying

over the Appomattox Court House National Park

.

 

The court house building which is the headquarters of the National Park. 

There were excellent displays about the battles that

lead up to the surrender on the upper level.  One of the displays was

about the soldiers from Oneida, NY who

fought on the area of the court house.

 

 

After four years of war and over 630,000 casualties

Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant met in the

parlor of the McLean Home in the village of

Appomattox Court House, Virginia and agreed to

terms which would make reunification of the Nation possible.

 

 

This is the room that  Grant and Lee worked out the

details and terms of the surrender.  Grant sat at the small

wooden table to the right and Lee used the

marble topped table at the left.  These are

reproductions as the Lee table is in a museum in

Chicago and the Grant table is on display on Washington, DC.

 

After an pleasant visit to Appomattox, it

was time to enjoy the balance of this beautiful day

on a slow curvy road drive back to Natural Bridge.