BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — On May 27, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears visited some of Bedford’s most well-known areas including Bower Center for the Arts, several local businesses, and the Bedford Boys Tribute Center, which honors the 19 Bedford soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day.

“The point of America I think, is to make sure that we preserve it for the next generation. so that’s what these men and women do when they give their lives for their country,” said Lt. Governor Sears.

Lt. Governor Sears is a Marine veteran who says she knows firsthand the hardships that can come with the fight for freedom.

“I know what it is to serve, and so many people do, you know you have long nights and sometimes a very thankless job,” said Lt. Governor Sears.

She adds that while her time in service was not always easy, her heart goes out to those service men and women who never came home.

“You always have to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Lt. Governor Sears.

Bedford has a rich, yet tragic, military history. Founder of the Bedford Boys Tribute Center, Ken Parker, says the town of Bedford suffered the biggest proportion of losses on D-Day out of every town in the United States.

Parker says, during good times and bad, the Bedford boys were in it together.

“They grew up together, played sports together, enjoyed their ice cream soda at Green’s drugstore together, and died together, in the first nine minutes of the Normandy invasion,” said Parker.

During the Normandy invasion, 19 Bedford soldiers were killed, and four more died before the end of the campaign. Parker says this Memorial Day, and every day, the most important thing people can do is educate the younger generation.

“And there’s only one lesson to be taught to them, if they are to enjoy the liberties, the freedoms, they have to understand that freedom is not free,” said Parker.