DENVER (KDVR) — Juneteenth is this weekend, and as part of Colorado’s recognition Gov. Jared Polis is joining members of the Black Democratic Caucus for a flag-raising ceremony.
“We are building a Colorado for All and Colorado is made stronger by the diversity of our people. It’s our shared responsibility to foster and protect that strength. Juneteenth is a celebration of joy and one of many shining examples of what a Colorado for All looks like,” Polis said in a release after the flag raising.
Last month, Polis signed a bill officially recognizing Juneteenth as a state holiday.
“Juneteenth is a commemoration of the end of slavery and honors freedom for all of us, and for the first time in Colorado history, we will celebrate this momentous day as an official state holiday,” Sen. Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, said. “I was incredibly proud of the work we did this session to ensure Colorado properly recognizes Juneteenth, and know that it will help educate all Coloradans about the horrors of slavery, make space to celebrate the Black community, and lift up our ongoing work to make sure we don’t forget our past.”
Juneteenth recognizes the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to free the slaves that were still being held there two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It is the first new holiday for the country since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recognized in 1983.
“This Emancipation Day reminds us of the atrocities our ancestors endured and how we must never give up hope in uncertain times,” Rep. Herod, Chairwoman of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado, D-Denver, said. “Juneteenth uplifts the voices of the Black community and showcases our perseverance. I’m proud to recognize Juneteenth as Colorado’s 11th state holiday so it can finally receive all the formal celebration and reflection it deserves.”
In 2021, Juneteenth was recognized as a national holiday. It is the first new holiday for the country since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recognized in 1983.