James Varner, left, who organizes the local Juneteenth celebration to mark the end of slavery in the United States, talks as Kevin O'Connell looks on in this 2017 file photo. Credit: Nok-Noi Ricker / BDN

Maine’s U.S. senators are joining a push to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in America and takes place on June 19. Independent Sen. Angus King and Republican Sen. Susan Collins said the holiday, which is observed by 47 states, including Maine, should be a federal one.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution cosponsored by the two senators to commemorate June 19, 2020, as “Juneteenth Independence Day.” The resolution was introduced by a large bipartisan group of senators from around the country.

King said it’s “past time to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday.”