Old Bridge Township recognizes Juneteenth

Kyara Torres-Olivares, left to right, Valeria Torres-Olivares, Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Imani Mulrain, Aba Smith, Hilcia Acevedo and Mutemwa Masheke at Princeton's Juneteenth celebration.

OLD BRIDGE – Old Bridge Township commemorates Saturday, June 19, as Juneteenth, a day of freedom and liberation.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863, which outlawed slavery in the rebelling states. It was not until June 19, 1865, that the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom upon the arrival of the Union army. The following year, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas and have continued to this day.

“Juneteenth is an important day of recognition for this country. It is a day to remind us to work toward a better and inclusive society for all. We must take this opportunity to honor the principles of freedom and celebrate the unity of our nation,” Mayor Owen Henry said in a prepared statement.