Stalin in VirginiaThe US National D-Day Memorial is in the small rural town of Bedford, VA. Overall it’s a fine, elegant and well designed monument, commemorating a key WWII event.  But it has recently become noteworthy for a certain small addition…

The Memorial include busts of the principal allied commanders and of all the principal allied leaders. The Stalin bust is on the unfashionable, little visited Eastern edge of the Memorial.  It is the only publicly displayed Stalin bust that I know of in the US. The biographical plaque takes prominent note of the elimination of the Kulaks, the Great Terror, and the relocation of nations.

Unfortunately all the leader busts are quite weak. Stalin is a bland representation of a stern faced foreigner with a moustache. It lacks the personality one sees in the better Stalin busts or photographs. There is no hint of the sly, insightful look in the eye, or that subtly malicious, knowing smile. Oh well: the Churchill is even worse and the Truman is almost unrecognizable.

Other parts of the Memorial are much better. There is a well conceived memorial pool with bronze soldiers wading to the beach from a landing craft. A series of hidden high pressure fountains erupt sporadically among the troops. Noisy and unpredictable, they simulate incoming rifle fire and add dynamism to the scene.

Well worth a visit if you are in central Virginia.