BREWER — The ninth annual Maine Human Rights Coalition’s Juneteenth Day Celebration in Maine for the freeing of the slaves officially in America will be held noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at Joshua Chamberlain Freedom Park near the statue of a slave coming out of a tunnel to freedom at the corner of State and North Main streets (Route 9) in Brewer.
In the event of rain, the event will be held at Brewer Auditorium, 203 State St.
Slaves were freed officially in the United States on June 19, 1865, when Gen. Grainger and his troops marched into Galveston, Texas, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863. It took 2½ years to free all slaves in America. Thus, June 19 has become a special holiday in America, and is recognized by 31 states and District of Columbia as a state holiday.
The city of Brewer has passed a proclamation, which the mayor will present at the event. The Rev. Becky Gunn of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor will give the invocation. Mary Hunter will sing at the event and several officials will give remarks on the occasion.
One of the highlights will be a special tribute to poet Maya Angelou, who died recently. There also will be presentations to an honor roll of Maine Human Rights Coalition members “committed to promoting our pledge to undo racism and discrimination in Maine and America.”
For information, call James Varner at 827-4493.