Today marks the 155th anniversary of General Order No. 3, also known as the “Last Emancipation Proclamation.” On June 19th, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, TX to announce the surrender of the Confederacy and declare all enslaved Americans free.
Following the announcement, those who had been enslaved in Texas declared June 19th as “Jubilee Day”, later deemed “Juneteenth” or “Freedom Day.” The day was originally celebrated through prayer and bringing families together. Today, it’s celebrated nationwide with larger events like parades and festivals.
But the fight is far from over. We take this day to reflect as a nation on how to continue healing the wounds of racism and xenophobia and treat all people with dignity, compassion, and understanding. LIRS stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all those who seek racial justice.
There is still so much work to be done—in immigration, healthcare, criminal justice, economic policy, and countless other areas. As an organization with an 80-year legacy of welcome, we stand ready to serve our neighbors and to respect and uplift the humanity and dignity of every person who calls this country home. This Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves as steadfast supporters of the fight for liberty and justice for all.