USCT Civil War Memorial Monument ‘Unique in the Nation!’

June 18, 2012

On Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m., dignitaries and citizens from around Maryland gathered to dedicate the United States Colored Troops Civil War Memorial Monument in Lancaster Park in Lexington Park. As one of the speakers and as one who was involved with the project Maryland  Sen. Roy Dyson exclaimed to the crowd from the Dais loaded with dignitaries, “I think, I belive, I know this monument is unique in the nation!”

The unique presentation was the dream of Idolia Shubrooks after she found a box in her attic decades before which contained the mustering out papers of her grandfather Armstrong who fought in the Civil War for the USCT. Shubrooks, after years of dreaming that her grandfather’s memory be honored in some fashion and with the help of the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions, Del. John Bohanon, Sen. Dyson and many area supporters was able to get a grant from the State for $250,000 to see the project through to conclusion, culminating with the ceremony on Saturday.

Attending the ceremony were representatives for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and past and present St. Mary’s County Board of Commissioners. Presenting proclamations to Shubrooks were Commissioner President, Jack Russell, Gov. O’Malley’s representative, Greg Jones, Deputy Secretary for Md. Veteran Affairs, Sue Cullin representing Sen. Cardin, Commissioner Todd Morgan and more.

Attending as guest Speaker, Rep. Steny Hoyer, ended the speeches stating that Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and that he died with his dream not fully realized, but that “Idolia, you have seen your dream come true today.” Hoyer indicated that this could be the start of putting aside differences and enacting what King’s dream was, ‘that all people regardless of the color their skin, should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”

Following the speeches there was the dedication ceremony itself featuring descendants of the James H. Harris Camp #38, SUVCW given by Duane Whitlock, Camp Commander and Jeffrey French, Dept. Commander. Following vocalist Lisa Moore, there was a roll call of Union Veterans and the laying of the wreath ceremony, a gun salute and the playing of Taps. Ending the ceremony were Shubrooks and Nathaniel Scroggins.

After the historic and unique ceremony, many attendees left to join the Juneteenth Celebration a few blocks from the park.
Check out the photos of this magnificent event…

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One Response to USCT Civil War Memorial Monument ‘Unique in the Nation!’

  1. timebandit on June 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    It is a very nice statue. Unfortunately, if you read your history you will find that the United States Colored Troops were not treated like regular Army. They would not have been afforded all the nice clothing, a well maintained rifle, hell most of them didn’t have shoes on their feet if they didn’t come with them. Yes, the statue was well deserved and a long time coming, but don’t you think it would have served them better to depict them the way it was? I guess things haven’t really changed now have they?