In February 1941, Company A of the 116th Regiment, Virginia National Guard, kissed mothers and girlfriends goodbye and filed onto a waiting train at Bedford's depot. By the end of the year, America was at war, and the Bedford Boys were in it for the duration. Nineteen men from Co. A, and another Bedford Boy from Company F, perished on the beaches of Normandy. The loss of 20 young men was the highest per capita loss of any community in the United States. Here in Centertown Plaza, read about the significance of this location with Betty Wilkes, wife to one of the Bedford Boys.
Bedford County Courthouse: Bedford Boys Monument
In 1954, ten years after the Normandy invasion, the Bedford community came together to dedicate a monument to its lost sons. The stone, located outside of Bedford's courthouse, reads, "Erected by the Parker-Hoback Post, 29th Division Association, in memory of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, who gave their lives in preparation for and the participation in the Normandy invasion and later battles of World War II."
The stone on which the monument appears was secured from Vierville-Sur-Mer on Normandy Beach and was a gift of the Republic of France.