Join us for this members-only bus trip to Bedford County, where we will visit Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s private retreat and most personal architectural creation, and the National D-Day Memorial.
Our day in Bedford County begins at Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s private retreat and most personal architectural creation. Designated a National Historic Landmark, this unique octagonal house is an award-winning historic restoration in progress, nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will enjoy a guided tour of the house and have time to explore the grounds and exhibitions to discover the personal world of Jefferson and of the free and enslaved people who formed the community at Poplar Forest.
We will have lunch at Liberty Station, located in the restored railroad station in Bedford’s Centertown. Like most small towns throughout Virginia, railroad stations were the hub of community life. During World War II, this station participated in the transportation of troops, supplies, and ammunition. The revered Bedford Boys, the men of the 116th Infantry, left for service from this very station. As part of Bedford’s Centertown, it is on the National Register of Historic Districts.
Following lunch, we will visit the National D-Day Memorial. Dedicated on June 6, 2001, by president George W. Bush, this monument was constructed in honor of those who died in one of the most significant battles in our nation’s history. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle of Normandy began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British, and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. The grounds for the monument take visitors on an archival journey through World War II and the politics and perils that embody the era. Paying tribute to the men and women who served their country in one of its most dire battles, the National D-Day Memorial creates a solemn atmosphere for veterans and visitors alike to gain insight and learn more about the events that shaped our nation’s and our world’s history.