Juneteenth is the celebration of the emancipation of American slaves and therefore the beginning of our democracy, for you can not have a true democracy when almost 13% of your population is forbidden to participate in that democracy and lacks the rights given to all other citizens. June 19th, 1865 was a monumental day for our country.
Of course new freedom can not erase the atrocities of slavery. Mothers and fathers who were freed desperately tried to find their children who were sold away to other plantations at young ages. Ripping the children away from the most vulnerable among us is a stain on our legacy that time cannot, and should not, erase.
On this Juneteenth I pray that we celebrate our great achievements as a diverse nation that values the humanity and rights of all races and creeds and that we also contemplate and learn from the mistakes of our past.