Bedford Virginia… Like eleven other Virginia communities Bedford provided a company of soldiers Company A to the 29th Infantry Division when the National Guards 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on 3 February 1941. Some thirty Bedford soldiers were still in that company on D-Day several more from Bedford were in other D-Day companies including one who two years earlier had been reassigned from the 116th Infantry to the First Infantry Division. Thus he had already landed in both Northern Africa and Sicily before coming ashore on D-Day at Omaha Beach with the Big Red One. Company A of the 116th Infantry assaulted Omaha Beach as part of the First Divisions Task Force O.By days end nineteen of the companys Bedford soldiers were dead. Two more Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign as did yet another two assigned to other 116th Infantry companies. Bedfords population in 1944 was about 3200. Proportionally this community suffered the nations severest D-Day losses. Recognizing Bedford as emblematic of all communities large and small whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day Congress warranted the establishment of the National D-Day Memorial here.