All of our Virignia Main Street communities have unique histories and cultures that we like to highlight in the Virginia Main Street blog from time to time. One of the most stiking stories is that of Company A, 116th Infantry, 29th Division from Bedford, Virginia.
Company A took part in the first wave of storming Nazi held beaches during D-Day, the turning point battle for Europe in World War II. There were many companies and many thousands of soldiers that stormed those beaches, but Company A was comprised almost entirely of men from Bedford, including several brothers. 21 of those men died on the beaches, giving Bedford, a community of 3,200, the distinction of having the highest per capita losses of any community in country.
It is for this reason that Bedford is home to the National D-Day Memorial.
Unfortunately, recently the last of the Bedford Boys, Ray Nance, went to his eternal reward. You can read about it here, here, and here.