Today, June 6, 2013 marks the 69th Anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy.
156,000 troops from The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada, free France and Norway made up the Allied forces.
The small town of Bedford, Va provided some 30 soldiers (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the Virginia National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated. Company A would assault Omaha Beach as part of the First Division’s Task Force O.
By the end of the day, nineteen of them were Killed In Action. At the time, Bedford’s population was 3,200. That meant that proportionally, Bedford suffered a larger loss than any other community in the United States.
To learn more about “The Bedford Boys” and The National D-Day Memorial, click the link below.
I should also note here that the National D-Day Memorial is now located in Bedford. If you’ve never been, you should schedule a visit soon!
I hope you took the time today to remember our D-Day Veterans … I did.
It’s often said that these men were from our “greatest generation” and I tend to agree. Because they were the “greatest” doesn’t take away from those that followed. Bedford is a good example.
Today, there is another group of “Bedford Boys” but they’re not military … they’re Firefighters.
These “boys” are just as professional and dedicated as their predecessors. They’re a class act and a great Department that I’ve wrote about several times here on Ironfiremen.com.
Their Captain, Greg Fulton (or “413″ as I call him) stopped by my station this morning (several of their members, including their Chief work for my Department). We had a great conversation about all the things I stand for … The Brotherhood… Tradition, Pride, Honor and Respect.
I got to meet and hang out with a group of his boys at the Harrisburg, Pa Fire Expo. Greg (413) and I shared a little of that experience from both perspectives (don’t worry boys … I didn’t tell him everything…LOL) .
Then, Greg told me of their recent loss.
A past Chief, John Turner passed away just last week.
Thinking about today’s anniversary (D-Day), The Bedford Boys and The Bedford FD’s loss, I found it ironic that Chief Turner was appointed to the BFD in 1944.
Greg told me several stories about Chief Turner.
Then he told me about the funeral.
The Bedford Fire Department carried Chief Turner to his final resting place in a piece of apparatus from the BFD.
The Respect, Honor and Tradition were evident!
That’s the actual truck pictured left.
It was not only a front line piece for the BFD, it was also the first motorized fire truck in Bedford County at the time.
Can you believe the purchase price was a whopping $12,500?
It got away (out) of the Department / County at one time but the boys located her, bought her back and refurbished her to original condition. It’s now on display at the Bedford County Welcome Center. When you come to visit the D-Day Memorial, be sure to stop by and see it.
Again I’ll mention Tradition, Pride, Honor and Respect. I think the original “Bedford Boys” would be PROUD of the job today’s Bedford Boys are doing. Keep up the strong work Brothers and THANKS!
I’m starting 4-day break tomorrow and will check back in with ya as soon as I can. Until I do …
Stay SAFE and in House!
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