National D-Day Memorial receives  million gift to help house WWII-era artifacts

National D-Day Memorial receives $1 million gift to help house WWII-era artifacts

BEDFORD, Va. – On the 78th anniversary of D-Day, the National D-Day Memorial Foundation announced a $1 million gift that will be put towards the Motor Pool, a building that will house a collection of WWII-era cars and more.

The gift was from the John & Doris Fowler Family, in memory of John Fowler.

Doris Fowler was joined by her son, Mike Fowler, and daughter-in-law, Colleen Regan, for the announcement during the annual commemoration ceremony.

To be named ‘The John & Doris Fowler Family Motor Pool,’ the period-style building will house the Memorial’s growing collection of WWII-era vehicles, artifacts and exhibits to enhance the ability to share stories in an immersive, interactive, and engaging environment.

“The National D-Day Memorial Foundation is grateful for this generous gift and the tremendous impact it will have on the Memorial. The John and Doris Fowler Family Motor Pool will allow us to continue to educate students and visitors on the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served in WWII,” said April Cheek-Messier, National D-Day Memorial Foundation President & CEO. “We are delighted by the Fowler family’s gift and their desire to ensure that these stories are never forgotten.”


The Fowlers, of Hume, are longtime supporters of the Memorial and are D-Day Society members.

“Our gift to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation is to honor the dedication and sacrifices all our veterans have made in defense of our country, especially by the Town of Bedford and the Bedford Boys,” said Doris Fowler. “It was especially meaningful to my husband John to honor his two uncles and a cousin who served in the Pacific theater during World War II. John’s service in the Army made a significant impact on the success he achieved in his engineering career as it allowed him to set aside enough money to continue his education at the University of Kansas once he was discharged from the Army. Lastly, he had a life-long interest in automobiles and trucks, and enjoyed classic car shows and military displays all his life. To be able to help the Foundation accomplish its goal to design and construct the 1940s Motor Pool is a fitting tribute to our veterans and my husband.”


During his successful career as a Civil Engineer, John Fowler completed many high-profile projects, eventually rising to Chief Executive Officer of the Dewberry Companies from 2001-2005, then serving on the Board of Directors until his full retirement. Mr. Fowler died in August 2021 at age 84.

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