SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Sen. Harry Reid made the following statement in honor of the 145th anniversary of Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed Galveston’s slaves that they were free.
“A few days ago I joined some of my fellow lawmakers in dedicating a memorial to the slaves who built the U.S. Capitol building. These enslaved African-Americans were deprived of their freedom and forced to build a beautiful structure that has become a symbol of liberty and independence for people around the world. This sad irony underscores the importance of knowing our history–both the moments that make us proud and the moments that are still difficult to grasp.
“Juneteenth is an opportunity to commemorate the abolition of slavery in America, a time of reflection and gratefulness. While our country ended the practice of slavery over 140 years ago, our work to ensure freedom and equality for all people must continue for generations to come.
“I take great pride that slavery has been outlawed since the day Nevada joined the Union in 1864. That means that as pioneering Nevadans forged America’s frontier, we brought with us the ideals of a free and independent America.
“I join my fellow Nevadans and millions across the country in remembering and honoring the historic anniversary of Juneteenth.”