Bedford is an independent city located within the confines of Bedford County in the U.S. state of Virginia. It serves as the county seat of Bedford County. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 6,083. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Bedford with surrounding Bedford county for statistical purposes. It is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Bedford is home to the National D-Day Memorial. (despite the "National" in its name, the memorial is owned and operated by a Non-governmental, non-profit, education foundation). The United States Congress warranted that this memorial would be the nation's D-Day Memorial and President Bill Clinton authorized this effort in September 1996. President George W. Bush dedicated this memorial as the nation's D-Day memorial on June 6, 2001. Bedford lost more residents per capita in the Normandy landings than any other American community. Nineteen soldiers from Bedford, whose 1944 population was about 3,200, were killed on D-Day. Three other Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign. Proportionally this community suffered the nation's severest D-Day losses.
Bedford City and County maintain relationships with 11 communities on the Normandy Coast of France. One sister city, Trévières, France, sent Bedford an exact replica of its own World War I memorial statue. The face of the statue was damaged in World War II by artillery fire from US forces retaking the town. The Bedford statue also bears these wounds and is erected on the grounds of the National D-Day Memorial. Bedford is also near Poplar Forest, the rural retreat of Thomas Jefferson.