In honor of D-Day on Thursday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addressed the citizens of Bedford County and everyone in attendance of "The Final Salute” celebration at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford. This year is the 75th anniversary of the day that over 100,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

“We’re remembering the service and sacrifice that triumphed over tyranny,” Pence said. “They won back not just a continent, but a world to freedom.”

In World War II, 20 men from Bedford lost their lives serving in the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division. Bedford suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation. The National D-Day Memorial honors the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, during World War II.

“They knew the odds,” Pence said. “They knew the enemy, and they knew the enemy would fight savagely to defend their crucial stronghold. Every soldier who stepped ashore was 'a visitor to Hell,' but the men of D-Day pressed forward.”

Pence named some of the soldiers who fought in the battle. He stated that all of the veterans risked everything to win a “great victory.” In addition to honoring the 20 soldiers who lost their lives, many more veterans from World War II were in attendance at the ceremony.

“We see them not just as they are, but as they were,” Pence said. “Seeing that, we marvel at the courage they showed as young men who stormed the beaches and faced the shadow of death without fear.”

-For more information, see the upcoming June 12 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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