Vet Voices

Do you know the meaning behind why we celebrate Juneteenth?

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Moundsville, WV (WTRF)- It’s June 19th or you may know it as Juneteenth, a new holiday gaining a lot of national attention.

But what’s the meaning behind celebrating it? Well, it commemorates the end to slavery.

Exactly 156 years to the day, US general Gordon Granger stood on Texas soil and read general orders that all slaves be free. It came two months after the confederacy surrendered and about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

Back in 2019, the city of Wheeling rededicated itself to making it an annual event. But now, it is recognized and celebrated by all.

“I think it’s huge. It really means a lot to me, especially tying in locally, this stuff we’ve done to celebrate and recognize Juneteenth…. the entire country is on board now. It’s a federal holiday now. Makes me feel a lot better about Wheeling. I feel like we were ahead of the curve.”

RON SCOTT JR., CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH DIRECTOR AT YWCA, WHEELING

It’s still a very new official federal and state holiday in West Virginia.

But, no matter your background or race, anyone can celebrate! Cultural Diversity Director Ron Scott Junior encourages you to find things happening locally to celebrate, like a special church service, and outdoor events, and go find a way to participate in it.

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