Bedford, VA - 1st Lieutenant Joshua Booth was just 23-years-old when he was killed while serving in Iraq. His wish was to be buried in Bedford and Saturday, his family was at the Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library sharing their son's story.
"He always wanted to be a marine and the first day he told me that was at the D-Day Memorial here in Bedford in the Spring of 2001 before 9/11 when he was a senior in highschool," said Lt. Booth's Father.
It's been seven years since Lt. Joshua Booth was killed by a sniper while serving in Iraq. The young Marine left behind a wife, daughter, and unborn son. Born in Virginia, but living a large part of his life in Massachusetts-- many wonder why this Marine held Bedford close to his heart.
"Even though Josh wasn't raised in Bedford- that story about him wanting to come back and be buried in Bedford to me is just precious and I think it needs to be told to the community," said Douglas Cooper who is the Director of the Bedford Museum.
"Almost every aspect of his life has a close tie to Bedford, Virginia," said Lt. Booth's Father.
Alot of it has to do with his grandparents- they have lived in Bedford their entire life and they have many memories together in the area. Many memories are surrounding the Peaks of Otter which they visited every season.
"And the people turned out just like he had been living here all his life," said Lt. Booth's Grandfather.
The day of his funeral, schools were dismissed early and the entire town lined the streets for the marine they did not even know.
"It was a heart wrenching thing- and the children there waving their American flags," said Lt. Booth's Grandfather.
Seven years later, many gathered to hear more about his story. The Bedford Museum has a different speaker and meeting each month.
"Josh gave me this very jacket I'm wearing now which is the Citadel and I thought well that would be applicable to bring that by here today and wear it," said Lt. Booth's Grandfather.
His sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"I wish everywhere in America had the same patriotism we had here in Virginia, and in Bedford," said Lt. Booth's Grandfather.