BEDFORD, Va (WFXR) — Sunday morning in Bedford, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears was honored at the historic Washington Street Baptist church for her service to this country and for making history as Virginia’s first female lieutenant governor and the first black woman elected as a statewide official in the commonwealth of Virginia.

She shares words of encouragement to all women.

“I want little girls and big girls, to know that you can do this too,” said Lt. Governor Sears.

That message of encouragement is exactly why the Washington Street Baptist Church chose Lieutenant Governor Sears to receive their annual “Women’s Day Achievement Award.”

Brenda Gibb from the Virginia Alliance for Women says it was an honor to have the Lieutenant Governor spend the weekend learning more about the rich history of the town of Bedford.

“The lieutenant governor is really living history,” said Gibb.

Gibb says the lieutenant governor is a great role model for women in the community.

“She’s a really good example of a successful path for these up-and-coming young leaders,” said Gibb.

The “Virginia Alliance for Women” is a new organization that Gibb says strives to empower young women to reach their fullest potential.

“To show them pathways for a career, or perhaps a second career, or even a run for office,” said Gibb.

However, while today is a celebration of the achievements of one successful woman, Lieutenant Governor Sears says it is imperative we remember this Memorial Day, those who gave their lives so others may live.

“We don’t want to be silent when it comes to honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, it must be remembered,” said Lieutenant Governor Sears.

The Lieutenant Governor will be visiting the national D-day memorial on Memorial Day and will join in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Greenwood cemetery in Bedford later that afternoon.