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Juneteenth Features Civil War Monument Dedication

The official dedication ceremony of the United States Colored Troops Civil; War Memorial Monument will occur on Saturday, June 16. Beginning with a pre-dedication musical prelude at 9:30 a.m., the ceremony will commence at 10 a.m. It will be held at John B. Lancaster Park, 21530 Willows Road in Lexington Park.

An invitation is extended to everyone to witness the unveiling of this monument after a vision of over 20 years. Years of dedication by a local volunteer group, the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC) and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) have made it possible for residents and visitors  to pay homage and respect to these men from St. Mary’s County who served our country and fought during the Civil War to save the Union and secure the heritage of human freedom.

The United States Colored Troops were regiments of the United States Army and Navy during the Civil War that were composed of African-American soldiers and sailors. Many of the men who served in USCT were slaves prior to volunteering for the Union Army. In St. Mary’s County during the 1800s there were more than 6,500 slaves and over 700 were recruited as USCT. All Union soldiers and sailors from the county will be honored.

The life size bronze sculpture of a USCT soldier will adorn a six-foot granite pedestal monument and will grace the John G. Lancaster Park for lasting memory of those soldiers and sailors who served. There will be over 700 men honored along with the three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from St. Mary’s County who served in the Union. The monument, surrounded by a natural element of trees and knockout roses, will be erected in memory of soldiers such as Pvt. Alexander Armstrong, grandfather of Idolia Shubrooks, whose vision for this monument will become a reality on this historic occasion.

The Juneteenth celebration will follow the dedication ceremony beginning at noon at Freedom Park in Lexington Park. The following is the schedule:

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm 
     Welcome by Juneteenth Chair. Mike Brown
     St. Mary’s 

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