By 2nd Lieutenant Esther Min, 47th Flying Training Wing public affairs
/ Published June 18, 2021
Mr. Ron Bailey Jr., Unit Training Manager
“What Juneteenth means to me is a day of extreme importance for African Americans that marked the end of one people’s struggle for human rights and equality in America and the start of another that unfortunately prevails today. It’s a day that all citizens, especially Texans should remember and reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation, but also realize how much further we need to go.”( U.S Air Force photo by 2nd Lieutenant Esther Min)
Capt. Jonathan Davis, 47th Force Support Operations Officer
“The importance of Juneteenth has undoubtedly grown since having children for myself. Knowing my boys will grow up in a world that views them as equal participants really comforts me. Fueling outward thinking and exposing my children to life experiences is my main objective. I’m extremely thankful for Juneteenth because it has changed the landscape for minorities of all different walks of life.” (U.S Air Force photo by 2nd Lieutenant Esther Min)
TSgt Seth Mihalik, 47 LRF/LGLOQ, Contract Officer Representative “As a USAF member and being Jewish, Juneteenth is a reminder of atrocities of the past, and the freedoms we fight for every day. I understand the need for remembrance and celebrate the 13th Amendment.”
(U.S Air Force photo by 2nd Lieutenant Esther Min)
Mr. William Harris-Simmons, Casualty Assistance Representative “What it means to me personally is the fact that it has now been recognized. It’s a celebration that we’re moving forward and expanding our knowledge of what Juneteenth represents.” (U.S Air Force photo by 2nd Lieutenant Esther Min)
Juneteenth National Independence Day, as of June 17, 2021, was signed into law by President Joe Biden as a federal holiday that recognizes the ending of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas after the surrender of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. During this historical moment, Union general Gordon Granger informed the people of their freedom and the end of the Civil War with the issue of the General Order No. 3.
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free...”
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, the news of it finally reached the ears of the people in the Confederate territory more than two years later when the Union troops arrived in Texas.
Juneteenth serves to observe not only the date that ended slavery, but as the holiday that was recognized first by the state of Texas.
In honor of the holiday on June 19, 2021, Public Affairs went around Laughlin AFB to ask local base members what Juneteenth meant to them.