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Fitting memorial

South Boston News
Ann, Sarah Elizabeth and Todd Moser, descendants of the late Herman O. Lewis Sr., joined the dedication of the bridge on Oak Level Road named in his memory. (Liza Fulton photo) / July 23, 2020
Nearly two years after it was washed away by Tropical Storm Michael, the highway span over Boelte Creek in Oak Level is back in service, with a new name — the Herman O. Lewis Sr. Memorial Bridge.

Family members of the late veteran, farmer, firefighter and community leader gathered Wednesday for a dedication ceremony at the rebuilt bridge, which was washed away by floodwaters when Michael pummeled the area in October 2018.

In June 2019, the Halifax County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution naming the bridge on Oak Level Road (Route 683) in honor of Mr. Lewis, who died in 2009.

For 73 years, he and his descendants have owned 125 acres of farmland surrounding the bridge. To commemorate the bridge dedication on Wednesday, county supervisor Stanley Brandon and Del. James Edmunds joined with family members Ann Moser, Todd Moser, Sara Elizabeth Moser and friends. The bridge lies in ED-6, represented on the Board of Supervisors by Brandon. Todd Moser serves as ED-6 trustee.

“This is where we went swimming after pulling tobacco,” said Ann Moser, daughter of Herman Lewis. “We would race to the creek.”

Among those who spoke at the dedication event was Carolyn Glass, a longtime friend and neighbor. “He was the epitome of a southern gentleman, there is not a better person to dedicate the bridge,” said Glass.

Herman O. Lewis Sr. received the Farm Bureau Clean Water Award and the Governor’s Model Clean Water Farm Award (1989) while operating the farm as a dairy, and raising tobacco, corn, wheat, and soybeans.

He served his country in World War II in the 636th Army Quartermaster Company, earning the American Service Medal, Bronze Service Star, Philippine Liberation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Army of Occupation Medal WWII (Germany and Japan). Mr. Lewis was an active member in civic organizations that included the American Legion Post and Woodman of the World, and he was a life-time member of the Oak Level Volunteer Fire Department.

Before reopening in recent days, the bridge had been out of commission since the storm struck.

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