Rear Adm. Michael J. Steffen; Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command and Deputy Commander, Navy Reserve Force; will deliver the keynote address on Memorial Day at the National D-Day Memorial. The Honorable Winsome Earle-Sears, Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will join Rear Adm. Steffen in laying a wreath. She will have the distinct honor of leading the crowd in honoring the colors at the ceremony’s conclusion.

Steffen, a native of Bedford, Virginia, was commissioned through the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in conjunction with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program and designated a naval aviator in 1994. He holds a Master of Science in Global Business Leadership from the University of San Diego. His command tours include the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 60 (HSL-60) “Jaguars” in Jacksonville, Florida, the Maritime Support Wing, based in Coronado, California, and the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base in Texas.

Earle-Sears, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, immigrated to the United States at the age of six and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. She has served as the Vice President of the Virginia State Board of Education; and as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Census Bureau, as co-chair of the African American Committee; and the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. She is the first female Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the first Black female elected to statewide office.

The Memorial will break ground on the Medal of Honor Garden, paying tribute to the four Medal of Honor recipients from D-Day, and dedicate recently installed veteran bricks in the Annie J. Bronson Veterans Memorial Walk and Gold Star Garden. Guests may view the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross exhibit on the Memorial’s west lawn.

Gates open at 10 a.m., with free admission from 10 a.m. – noon. Please bring a chair. The Memorial will collect fresh flowers at the gate to place on the graves of “Bedford Boys” and others later that day. The ceremony will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. at under the watch badge and calendar of events.

National D-Day Memorial

Located in Bedford, Virginia, USA – the community suffering the highest-known, per capita D-Day loss in the Nation, the National D-Day Memorial honors the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces on 6 June, 1944 by preserving the lessons and legacy of D-Day. Learn more at