LNA 06072018 D-Day Memorial 01

Organizers expect 20,000 people to attend the observance of the 75th anniversary of the Allied Landing at Normandy in June at the National D-Day Memorial, where hundreds turned out in 2018 (above) for the annual event. (File photo by Jay Westcott/The News & Advance)

People at the National D-Day Memorial are not the only ones using the next three months to prepare for the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy.

Officials with Bedford and businesses in and around the town are getting ready for the more than 20,000 visitors expected to attend the ceremony June 6.

“I have been reaching out to a lot of businesses about the D-Day anniversary,” Bedford Economic Development Coordinator Mary Zirkle said. “June 6 is going to be here before you know it.”

Angela Lynch—the National D-Day Memorial Foundation’s associate director of marketing—said about 25,000 people are expected to be in attendance at the June 6 event.

“That’s what we are looking at on the anniversary of D-Day,” Lynch said. “But there are six days of events planned for that week so some of those people could be in and out of town during that week.” Lynch said the memorial is expected to continue drawing people to Bedford throughout June and July due to the national attention the event will receive.

“We are looking at a very busy summer,” Lynch said.Melissa Kennedy Grey, programs coordinator at the Bower Center for the Arts on North Bridge Street, said a stage production of “Tuesday Mourning”—a play about the “Bedford Boys” who died during the invasion of Normandy—will be performed at the center during the week of the D-Day anniversary.

“It’s a musical narrative told from the perspective of the Bedford Boys,” Grey said. “We are excited and honored to be putting on this production.”Associates at some Bedford hotels said rooms are filling up in advance of the anniversary.

Bedford Town Manager Bart Warner said officials started preparations for the D-Day anniversary in 2018.

We started getting things lined up a few months ago,” Warner said. “Several of our departments have been working with the National D-Day Memorial to coordinate the event. It takes a lot of teamwork to pull this off and we wanted to get an early start because June is going to sneak up on us fast.

Warner said although there is “a lot more to do” before June 6, he thinks all of the hard work preparing for the D-Day anniversary will be worth it.“I’m very proud of Bedford and we always welcome visitors to our community,” Warner said. “I’m looking forward to showing people that we are ‘The World’s Best Little Town.’”

—The News & Advance

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