PEEKSKILL, NY — On Friday June 19, 2015 at 6 PM the Lincoln Depot Museum will be conducting a traditional Juneteenth Flag Raising ceremony to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth celebration to end slavery.
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 15-20 minute ceremony, to be conducted on the actual day, June 19th, includes the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and the raising of the official Juneteenth Flag. Scheduled to participate in the ceremony as the Keynote Speaker is Pastor Gary Colter of the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Peekskill. Also participating will be the Mount Lebanon Choir and Lincoln Society President Tristi Nichols who will read the Emancipation Proclamation.
“We feel it appropriate that the Lincoln Depot Museum host this important ceremony,” stated Museum Board President John Testa. “Being the 150th anniversary of this historic event and given the museum recently observed the 150th anniversary of President’s Lincoln’s assassination, we felt compelled to contribute to the growing Juneteenth movement, remember Lincoln’s contribution to end slavery and help kick off the local celebration weekend,” added Testa.
The Official Flag will fly under the American Flag on the Lincoln Depot Museum’s flagpole throughout the month of June.