2016 Stuart G. Christian, Jr., “The Bedford Boys,” by Alex Kershaw
On March 17 at 5:30 p.m., Alex Kershaw delivered the 2016 Stuart G. Christian, Jr. Lecture entitled “The Bedford Boys.”June 6, 1944: nineteen boys from rural Bedford, Virginia, died in the first bloody minutes of D-Day. They were part of Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division, and among the first wave of American soldiers to hit the beaches at Normandy. Later in the campaign, three more boys from this small Virginia community died of gunshot wounds. Twenty-two sons of Bedford lost—it is a story one cannot easily forget and one that the families of Bedford will never forget. Alex Kershaw will tell the true and intimate story of these men and the friends and families they left behind—the story of one small American town that went to war and died on Omaha Beach.Alex Kershaw, an honorary colonel in the 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Division, is the widely acclaimed author of several bestselling books about World War II, including The Bedford Boys: One American Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice, The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon, The Few: The American “Knights of the Air” Who Risked Everything to Save Britain in the Summer of 1940, and The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau. His latest book is Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family's Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris.