U.S. Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns (NY-10) issued the following statement today in observance of Juneteenth:
“Today, we commemorate the historic event on June 19, 1865 when General Gordon Granger and his soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the end of slavery. Though President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect two years prior, freedom did not come to all slaves until this date, which has since become known as Juneteenth.
“The last slaves throughout the country became free at last, and over 140 years later, we continue to celebrate this defining moment in our nation’s history. As we rejoice in the promises of freedom and independence, we also take this opportunity to honor and appreciate the achievements by generations of African Americans throughout American history. Juneteenth also serves as a time to reflect on the historic progress our nation has made to protect the freedom and promote equality for all Americans. In observance of Juneteenth, let us reaffirm our commitment to the advancement of freedom and fairness for all.”