SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – For Bill Snead, Jr. seeing the D-Day exhibit at the South Boston Museum of Fine Arts and History is humbling.
His father was a D-Day veteran.
“It’s absolutely amazing what they have done here with this exhibit," Snead said.
The exhibit features World War II items, including guns, helmets and an authentic Nazi flag.
It’s dedicated to the roughly 180 men of Company F from South Boston, one of the first four companies to storm Omaha Beach.
Snead’s father was not part of the company but was at the beach.
“One of his jobs there was to pick up the dead on Omaha Beach for about three days and help register them," Snead said.
Museum Director Jennifer Bryant said the exhibit has been about two years in the making and is part of the museum’s effort to commemorate World War I and World War II.
“A lot of what we’ve based this exhibit off of is the timeline, the progression of how this happened, how the progression of events led up to what happened on Omaha Beach on June the 6th of 1944, what did the soldiers of South Boston encounter and what was the results of the conflict,” Snead said.
A plaque on a wall in the exhibit gallery lists the names of the members of Company F.
The names of the 29 who died are in yellow.
Putting the exhibit together was sobering for Bryant.
“They were sons, they were brothers, they were people who went to school with local residents, people that the community didn’t just up and forget within a day. They had a deep connection to the area," Bryant said.
“What young people should take away from this is just never forget,” Snead said.