Sunday, March 25, 2018

Another brick towards building the Union Talbot Boys

The virtual world has spoiled me.  Like many other people, I've become accustomed to instant gratification.  I want something and, voilĂ , the Internet delivers, usually next day.  Unfortunately, the real world (and most often my brain) aren't wired for instant results.  That explains why I am still working on an article I started two years ago.  But let's put that article aside and talk Talbot Boys.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a second meeting in as many weeks to discuss and solidify plans to build a Union Talbot Boys monument.  For those of you following the Talbot Boys saga, you know it's been almost three years since the Talbot County commissioners voted to save the Confederate Talbot Boys Monument and give authorization for a Union Talbot Boys Monument. 

The Internet works at the speed of light, but people don't.  Five months ago, through the help of the Talbot County Commissioners, my lone journey to build a Union Talbot Boys monument merged with a few other citizens' journeys to accomplish the same goal, citizens I'll introduce to you at a future date - like when we have shovels, brick, and mortar in hand to start building the Union Talbot Boys monument.  For now, I think it's safe to say we're all on the same page in expressing our ideas, although we each use different words to express those ideas and to add depth and meaning to the monument that will emerge from our collective efforts.

Before I go any further with this story, let me make it clear I do not speak for the group nor any individual member of the group.  I speak for myself and express my opinion of how I see the progress of the - for lack of a formal name right now - Union Talbot Boys Committee.  In due time you will hear their voices if they are so inclined.

War of brother against brother: True
identities may be lost in the dustbin of
history, testament to the difficulty of
accurate interpretation of that era.
Formalities aside, great progress has been made.  We've moved past getting to know each other and kicking around a few ideas to producing sketches, refining design, looking at potential sculptors, and, most importantly, determining exactly what we want the monuments on the Talbot courtyard grounds to tell.  Our overriding concern?  The story needs to be accurately told. 

If there's anything we all agree on, it's our determination to shun the Internet trend to define the Civil War Era in 280-character sound bites or revise the history in sanitized, more politically correct and faddish terms.  The Civil War remains a complex part of our collective history.  Distilling the era down to cute sound bites to help one achieve fifteen minutes of Internet fame is spitting in the face of the over 600,000 Americans who died fighting the War.  Worst, it trivializes and glosses over the hardships, sacrifices, and brutality suffered by over four million slaves during the Civil War era and millions of their family members extending back over three hundred fifty years.

The Union Talbot Boys committee is united in believing nothing of that era should be glorified, but all of it should be told.  No matter how divided our country may become in its ideology, we should always be able to look at the most divisive time in our history to ensure we never march down that path again.  With the political and social divisions splitting our country, the lessons of the Civil War era, in all its ugliness and brutality, are all the more important for us to face and learn from today.

The Union Talbot Boys linked with the Confederate Talbot Boys will tell the tragic story of a country deeply divided and the consequences of that division.  The story needs to be told, not silenced, and told in all its brutal honesty.

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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