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National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Va.
Left to right: "Across the Beach" and "Death on the Shore" bronze American soldier sculptures and a mock steel tetrahedra in the Reflecting Pool at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.

"A father and his son both fell during Operation Overlord. So did 33 pairs of brothers — including a boy having the same name as his hometown, Bedford T. Hoback, and his brother Raymond. Their sister, Lucille, is with us today. She has recalled that Raymond was offered an early discharge for health reasons, but he turned it down. "He didn't want to leave his brother," she remembers. "He had come over with him and he was going to stay with him." Both were killed on D-Day. The only trace of Raymond Hoback was his Bible, found in the sand. Their mother asked that Bedford be laid to rest in France with Raymond, so that her sons might always be together.

"Perhaps some of you knew Gordon White, Sr. He died here just a few years ago, at the age of 95, the last living parent of a soldier who died on D-Day. His boy, Henry, loved his days on the family farm, and was especially fond of a workhorse named Major. Family members recall how Gordon just couldn't let go of Henry's old horse, and he never did. For 25 years after the war, Major was cherished by Gordon White as a last link to his son, and a link to another life. [ speech continued . . . ]

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596th Signal Support Co., 97th Signal Battalion
47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Stories by Vincent Z. Whaley

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