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Bible Belonging to Bedford Boy Nominated by the Virginia Association of Museums as a Top 10 Endangered Artifact

Bedford, Virginia--The National D-Day Memorial has nominated the Bible belonging to Bedford Boy John Schenk to the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifact competition. The Bible was gifted to John by his step-mother, Rose Lewis Schenk, prior to the D-Day invasion. Assigned to the 29th Division, 116th Regiment, Company A, Ssgt. John Schenk landed in the first wave of the assault on Omaha Beach at 0630 with 34 young soldiers from Bedford, Virginia. In his pocket, he carried this Bible—a physical connection to his family an ocean away—when he became part of the largest amphibious invasion in history along the Normandy coastline on June 6, 1944.

It is imperative to conserve artifacts such as Schenk’s Bible, according to Felicia Lowrance, Education Coordinator for the National D-Day Memorial. “Historical pieces such as this create tangible connections to our shared past. This Bible represents millions of family members and friends who would inevitably cheer the news of the successful invasion or grieve at the loss of loved one.”

Ivylyn Schenk, had no idea her husband, John, lay buried on the beaches of Normandy when she composed her daily letter on June 25, 1944. She wrote “John, my darling. Well, it has been twenty-two months since we were married. It has seemed very long, and yet, unbelievably short in duration… the only constant thing about it is that I continue to love and appreciate you more and more each day.” At the time of this writing, her beloved husband was one of more than 4,000 Allied soldiers who had sacrificed their lives on D-Day to secure freedom for generations beyond their own.

The Foundation is delighted to be selected for this preservation initiative conducted by the Virginia Association of Museums. Schenk’s Bible is currently housed in a climate-controlled environment to help protect from further deterioration. “We are concerned with the conservation of this piece and ensuring that it is preserved to tell the story of the Bedford Boys and D-Day for future generations,” Lowrance said.

The Virginia Top 10 Endangered Artifact competition highlights unique artifacts throughout Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area. The program addresses the national recommendations of the Heritage Health Index Report to raise public funding and awareness of the importance of collections care. Visit www.vatop10artifacts.org click "Yes" under National D-Day Memorial, scroll to the bottom, then click "Submit Vote" to vote for John Schenk’s bible.  #vatop10

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