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County, GSU to expand military history display

Downtown exhibit commemorates Bulloch County's rich heritage

County, GSU to expand military history display

County, GSU to expand military history display


A decade-old history display in downtown Statesboro is being restored and revamped.
In a presentation Monday to the Bulloch County Historical Society, Georgia Southern University professor Dr. James Bigley discussed ongoing changes to a military heritage exhibit located in a front room of the Bulloch County Annex on North Main Street.
The display, which found a home at the annex after a stint at the Georgia Southern University Museum in 1992, is receiving a complete overhaul, expanding to showcase not only Bulloch County’s role in World War II, but incorporate the county’s military heritage from the American Revolution to the present.
A decision to refurbish the exhibit, and broaden its scope, was made by Bulloch County commissioners and will be carried out by Bigley and Georgia Southern Museum staff.
“The exhibit got old and wasn’t looking so well. Panels had fallen off the wall and we needed to upgrade,” Bigley said. The display was designed in 1992 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II. “There was need expressed to fix the exhibit and to recognize other time periods of service that Bulloch County natives have been involved in.
“I think now we have a superior product,” he said. “All periods of service, including the National Guard, have been recognized. The display is both educational and commemorative.”
As part of the upgrade, each of the room’s walls is clad with large, colorful panels documenting every major American war since the Revolution. Pictures and information of Bulloch County veterans are included on the posters and on separate honorary plaques.
“We tried to get local people represented as much as possible,” Bigley said.
A flag from the local military unit hangs on one wall and two clear, glass cases rest in the room’s center.
Currently, Bigley and museum personnel are searching for items to fill the glass displays.
“What we want to do in one case is have an exhibit of headwear and helmets. We want to put some iconic items from each of these time periods in the display for people to look at up close,” he said. “What we’d like to do with the second case is showcase objects associated with Bulloch County veterans, particularly people who may have been in Vietnam, Desert Storm or the Global War on Terror.”
Some pieces of history already slated to be on display include: knives from various conflicts and a special commemorative lighter given by the mayor to local troops before they shipped out to camp.
Though work to complete the exhibit is still ongoing, people can view the display anytime the North Main Annex is open.
Other partners in the project include the Bulloch County Historical Society and members of the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90.

Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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