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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | June 16, 2023

Joint Base Andrews celebrates Juneteenth

By Airman 1st Class Gianluca Ciccopiedi 316th Wing Public Affairs

Groups across base held Juneteenth observance events this week to spread awareness and celebrate the national holiday.

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. This marked the most recent new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Day was recognized nearly four decades ago.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, providing a pathway to freedom for the enslaved Black people. Two-and-a-half-years later, approximately 2,000 union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and ensure the freedom of the remaining enslaved African Americans. This historic event gave birth to the origin of Juneteenth and has long been celebrated in African American culture in various parts of the United States.

“Here at Joint base Andrews, we join our nation in honoring a commitment to equity, equality, and justice with the commemoration of Juneteenth on June 19th each year, and the beginning of fulfilling America's promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Todd E. Randolph, 316th Wing and installation commander. “Throughout the history of our nation, African Americans have served with distinction, and their honorable service has been crucial to breaking down racial barriers for service members today.”