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Fullbore Friday

Sacrifice.

In 1940, Bedford, VA had a population of 3,973.

When the National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on February 3, 1941, Bedford bestowed its soldiers in Company A to their ranks. By D-Day in 1944, there were still 37 Bedford soldiers in that company which became part of the 1st Infantry Division.

They were slated for the D-day invasion.

“When Company A landed on target and on time at Dog Green beach – one of only a handful of units to do so – they received the fire intended for a much larger force. For Bedford, the result was especially devastating. Of 37 assigned to Company A, 31 loaded into a landing craft and headed for Omaha Beach in the first wave; the remainder belonged to supply details and would arrive later.

“En route, a landing craft struck an obstacle and sank, stranding dozens far from shore, including five of Bedford’s boys. The remaining 26 successfully reached Omaha Beach, where 16 were killed and 4 wounded within a matter of minutes. Three others were unaccounted for and later presumed killed in action.

“Another Bedford boy was killed in action elsewhere on Omaha Beach with Company F, bringing Bedford’s D-Day fatalities to a total of 20.”

20 out of 38. A 52.6% casualty rate, in one day.

Now upscale that. 20 is .5% of the city's 1940 population.

In 1940, Baltimore, MD had a population of 859,100. That same loss rate, in one day, for Baltimore would be 4,298.

No consider this, for those who grew up in a small town.

In Bedford, most went to high school together. Grew up together. Their families all knew each other.

They died for ... what? For whom?

That is war. That is why it is so horrible. That is why it must be avoided until there are no other options.

And it will always be with us.