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.
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.