The 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Calendar of Events

A series of events honoring the military service of the "Bedford Boys," the remaining veterans of WWII, veterans of wars fought from decades past to present, and the families and supporters of them all. 

Share Your Memories! 

Celebrating the friends and family of the Bedford community who served in American wars past and present. 

  If you have and are willing to share photos or letters from WWII veterans or veterans from wars past or present, please send them to us on social media, or by emailing Project Director Veronica Jackson at v.jackson@bowercenter.org.Thank you, and we look forward to receiving and sharing your memories.

Photo courtesy of Karen Nuzzo

Opening Reception

May 18, 4-5:30pm in the Wharton Garden

FREE and open to the public

 

A reception to honor heroes and celebrate the new additions to the Wharton Garden.

 

Location: Wharton Garden

Directions: From N. Bridge Street, enter through Bower Center for the Arts or Town Kitchen & Provision’s parking lots, or from Robinson Way adjacent to the Bedford Central Library.

Parking available next to the library

 


Film Series: Saving Private Ryan (1998) public screening
May 18, 6pm at Bedford Public Library
FREE and open to the public

In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, Bower Center for the Arts and the Bedford Public Library System have paired up to present a 4-part film series based on wars from WWII to Afghanistan. We kick off the series with the Oscar-winning film Saving Private Ryan starring Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realities of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage. A discussion immediately follows the film.

169 minutes; Rated R

Location: 

Bedford Central Library

321 North Bridge Street

Bedford

Parking available next to the library



THIS IS OUR SERVICE: America's Veterans Make Art
Invitational Contemporary Art Exhibit

May 21-June 29, Tues-Sat, 11am-4pm at Bower Center for the Arts
Gallery admission is always FREE.

Acknowledging the contributions and sacrifices of vets from all American military conflicts staged on battlefields the world over. As part of the celebration commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, Bower Center for the Arts presents artwork that showcases a group of local and regional artists who are also veterans of the US armed forces.
 

Special open hours for Memorial Day weekend:

Saturday, May 26 from 11AM to 4PM

Sunday, May 26 from 1 to 5PM

Memorial Day Monday, May 27: 11AM to 4PM

"Write It Out" 
May 29, 7-9pm at Bower Center for the Arts
 

Led by John Ketwig (Vietnam vet, author, exhibiting artist, and member of Write Now group at BCA). The gathering provides an opportunity for veterans of any of America’s wars to get together with the intent to write about their experiences related to war, the aftermath, life, relationships with people who were never there, PTSD, and all side effects left over from war. What you write can be kept private or if you choose, we welcome you to share your words with the group. However, as in Vegas: what is said here, stays here. 

 

This session is scheduled for 2 hours on the evening of Tuesday, May 29 starting at 7PM. Writing materials will be provided. If you prefer digital means, please bring your laptop, tablet, or smart phone. 

 

This event is FREE and is open to veterans of any war and/or military service, or family members of vets who served. 

Signing up is required for our planning purposes. 

To sign up, please call Bower Center for the Arts at 540.586.4235 or email Veronica Jackson at v.jackson@bowercenter.org.

Opening Reception
THIS IS OUR SERVICE: America's Veterans Make Art
May 31, 5-8pm at Bower Center for the Arts
FREE and open to the public


Please join us for the opening reception of this invitational exhibition. The evening’s events will include discussions with the exhibiting artists, a musical performance by catherine the great featuring many of her original compositions, and an initial public read of an original script about the Bedford Boys by Liberty University's Theatre Arts students. Light refreshments will be served.  

Victory Garden Canning Display

June 1, 10-11:30am at Bedford Urban Garden (BUG)
FREE and open to the public

In the midst of BCA and BUG’s very own Victory Garden planted in mid April with the help of local youth organization Your Stage- Find Your Voice, Emilie Temeles will explain the reason behind victory gardens, show a collection of canning jars with vegetables, fruits, and meats as they would have been in 1943, explain the canning process, present a collection of canning jars, different makes, brands, and jar tops, and reveal the change in canning lids in order to help support the war effort.

 

Location:

Bedford Urban Garden 

422 Jackson Street

Bedford

The garden is located between North and Grove Streets, two blocks east of the Bower Center for the Arts and adjacent to the Bedford Lofts.

Parking available next to the garden

WWII History Presentation
June 1, 12:15-1pm at Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library

FREE and open to the public

 

Jennifer Thomson, Genealogical Librarian provides a tour

through the museum’s military history galleries, focusing on Bedford’s

contribution to WWII. Starting with the Bedford Boys, she will

expand the narrative to include African American soldiers' and military women's impact on the war effort. 

 

Location:

Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library

201 E. Main St.

Bedford


Film Series: Hacksaw Ridge (2016
)

Jun 1, 3:30PM at Bedford Central Library

FREE and open to the public

 

For part 2 of our series, we will be screening the film Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, and Vince Vaughn. The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness, and compassion after he risked his life—without firing a shot—to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa. The film has a local connection as Desmond Doss was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. A discussion immediately follows the film.

139 minutes; Rated R

 

Location: 

Bedford Central Library

321 North Bridge Street

Bedford

Parking available next to the library

 


2nd Fridays in Bedford
 THIS IS OUR SERVICE: American Vets Make Art 

June 14, 5-8pm at Bower Center for the Arts

FREE and open to the public

 

This invitational contemporary art exhibit acknowledges the contributions and sacrifices of vets from all American military conflicts staged on battlefields the world over. As part of the celebration commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, Bower Center for the Arts presents artwork that showcases a select group of local and regional artists who are also veterans of the US armed forces.

 


Film Series: The Great Escape (1963)
June 15, 6pm at Bedford Public Library
FREE and open to the public
 

The film classic The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, and James Coburn is the third in the series. The film is based on the true story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who managed to escape from an allegedly impenetrable Nazi POW camp during World War II. The soldiers are intent on breaking out and outwitting their captors by digging a tunnel under the prison grounds. However the soldiers find the stakes much higher once free from the POW camp. A discussion immediately follows the film.

172 minutes; Not Rated

Location: 

Bedford Central Library

321 North Bridge Street

Bedford

Parking available next to the library

 Open Mic: Vet's Edition 

June 20, 7PM in the Sara Braaten Gallery at Bower Center for the Arts

FREE and open to the public

 

A welcoming listening room: all veterans and friends and family of veterans are welcome on stage.

Come out to listen and appreciate the talents of our local veterans.
 

To sign up, email host catherine the great at booking@catherinethegreatmusic.com

Film Series: Lone Survivor (2013)
June 29, 3:30pm at Bedford Public Library
FREE and open to the public

For the final film in our series, we will be shifting away from WWII stories to a contemporary war with the movie Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana. Based on a true story, four Navy Seals enter Afghanistan to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda member and find themselves in an enemy ambush alone, hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned, and fighting for their lives. A discussion immediately follows the film.

121 minutes; Rated R

Location: 

Bedford Central Library

321 North Bridge Street

Bedford

Parking available next to the library

Programming made possible by

a generous grant from Virginia Humanities

HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-4pm

Gallery admission is always free.

305 N. Bridge St. Bedford, VA 24523

540-586-4235 ​​​​    Contact Us

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