The National D-Day Memorial reopened to visitors on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, as part of a phased approach to welcoming guests back on site for the summer.
“We have been busy readying the Memorial for visitors by focusing on the safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors and instituting a number of changes in response to COVID-19,” said April Cheek-Messier, President of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation. “After three months of closure, we look forward to opening our gates and letting visitors in to enjoy our beautiful monument, the outdoor space, and our shared history of D-Day.”
The Memorial has established a number of initiatives to prepare for reopening which include the following:
- Regular cleaning intervals throughout the Memorial; particularly in high touch areas such as tables, counters, bathrooms, and doorknobs.
- Memorial staff and volunteers have been trained in safety procedures regarding COVID-19.
- Ticket sales have moved from the Bedford Area Welcome Center to the Memorial’s hospitality booth on-site to make ticket purchases as “contactless” as possible. Visitors should drive directly to the Memorial site to redeem their online tickets or to purchase tickets on the day of their visit. Visitors are encouraged to purchase online tickets prior to their arrival. (Please bring your printed ticket with you or have the confirmation on your phone or tablet when you arrive. Tickets purchased online are discounted from tickets purchased directly at the Memorial.) The Memorial accepts cash and credit cards.
- Since the Memorial is an outdoor site, visitors are not required to wear masks, however, social distancing of at least six feet is encouraged at all times between guests, individual family groups, volunteers, and staff.
- Plexiglass shields have been placed in front of registers at the ticketing area and in the gift store.
- Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout the Memorial to supplement handwashing. Public restrooms are available and cleaned regularly.
- Signage located throughout the Memorial reinforces protective protocols.
- Guided tours of the monument are currently suspended; however, self-guided tours are available with the use of our walking tour brochure and/or the tour feature on the National D-Day Memorial app, available free for Apple or Android. Docents will be stationed on-site at various times to answer questions.
- Golf carts for assistance are currently unavailable; however, wheelchairs are available upon request and wiped clean after each use.
- Water fountains are unavailable. Drink machines are available and are cleaned regularly.
- Pet kennels will be open and cleaned routinely.
The Memorial’s Gift Shop reopened July 1, 2020, with a limit of 10 patrons inside at a time. Visitors are also encouraged to shop the Memorial’s online gift store. Your purchase supports the Memorial.
The National D-Day Memorial has aligned its safety protocols with those recommended in Governor Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia plan, the Virginia Department of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please understand our plan may need to be adjusted according to federal and state guidelines or current conditions in our area. Updates will be posted to this page or call 540-586-3329 for information. Please refrain from visiting the Memorial if you are sick or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
If you are unable to visit during this time but would like to help in some way, you are encouraged to consider one of our many giving opportunities. The National D-Day Memorial does not receive state or federal funding and relies solely on donations and admissions revenue.
Please enjoy this special program, recorded on location at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, USA. Though we cannot gather, we still honor the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of those who fought and died to end Nazi tyranny over Europe 76 years ago.