Congressman Denver Riggleman Joins Vice President Mike Pence for 75th D-Day Anniversary Ceremony at National D-Day Memorial in Bedford

June 6, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C. - On Thursday, Congressman Denver Riggleman joined Vice President Mike Pence for a ceremony commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion.  The ceremony took place at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.  Vice President Pence gave a speech honoring the U.S. soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and specifically lauded the “Bedford Boys”,  the 35 men from the Virginia town who participated in the attack.  The death toll on Bedford was the highest per capita of any community in the Country.

Congressman Riggleman read a diary entry from Seaman Second Class Jack E. Rowe of the U.S. Coast Guard, who was killed in the invasion while piloting a landing craft. 

"To be here today is a humbling experience," said Congressman Riggleman. "To think about all the men that gave their lives that day to pave the way for freedom.  I'm glad we are able to honor their sacrifice."


A full transcript of the Congressman's reading can be found below.

“Getting ready for the big show.” 

Eighth Division has just been called to chow down in 15 minutes. I have been up since 1130, put on some heavy underwear because it is cold out. It was rough and windy. Minesweepers are sweeping the way and dropping buoys as they go. The sky is being lighted up by constant flashes about two points off the starboard bell. 

My shipmates are climbing out of the pits, some noisy as usual; some of the noisy ones are very quiet; others talking; making speeches in a kidding way; the heavy sleepers weaving around the compartment trying to wake up. It’s hard to tell who was putting on a show to cover up his feelings, but I think I spotted a couple. Most are glad the time is here at last. It has been tiresome waiting month after month for something you know was bound to happen. 

Well, I have a few little odds and ends to do before I go over the side, so I guess I will be off now to see history made and the biggest show of any war yet of its type. When I come back I will have a lot to write about. As to coming back there is no doubt in my mind but that I will….

Jack Rowe was killed just hours after writing this message on June 6.