On Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 5 PM the Lincoln Depot Museum in Peekskill will be conducting its Second Annual Traditional Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony.
Also known as “Emancipation Celebration,” “Freedom Day” and “Juneteenth Independence Day,” Juneteenth celebrates when on June 19, 1865, in Galveston Texas, final freedom of all slaves was finally proclaimed. Two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln and just two months after the President’s assassination, Union General Gordon Granger entered Galveston with the news of freedom for all slaves. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
The Lincoln Depot Museum in Peekskill will hold an Official Juneteenth Flag Raising Service as established by the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. According to the NJOF the purpose of the ceremony is “to bring all Americans together to celebrate our common bond of freedom through the recognition, observance, education and historic preservation of Juneteenth in America.”
The 20-minute ceremony includes the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and the raising of the official Juneteenth Flag. Scheduled to participate in the ceremony is Pastor Gary Colter of the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church and Pastor Dr. Robert E. Young of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, both located in Peekskill. Also participating will be the Mount Lebanon Choir and Pastor Stephany Graham of the Presbyterian Church of Peekskill.
“We feel it appropriate that the Lincoln Depot Museum continue to host this important ceremony,” stated Museum Board President John Testa. “We are the only such official ceremony conducted in the Hudson Valley, and possibly even the State of NY, so we feel compelled to continue our contribution to the growing Juneteenth movement. We feel it important to remember Lincoln’s contribution to end slavery and be a part of the local celebration,” added Testa.
The Official Flag will fly under the American Flag on the Lincoln Depot Museum’s flagpole throughout the month of June.