Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement recognizing the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
“On this day 150 years ago, Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, bringing word that slavery had come to an end. While this day came two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, it stood as a momentous occasion that slavery was no more. Since that day, Juneteenth, as the day became known, has been a time of celebration and a time to reflect on the struggle for equality and freedom.
As we celebrate Juneteenth, we do so with heavy hearts, mourning the tragic loss and senseless violence in Charleston, South Carolina. While this heinous crime has shaken our nation, we have seen a community shine a ray of light through this dark time by pulling together to support and comfort one another.