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Senator Ted Cruz commemorates Juneteenth on the senate floor

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 11:48 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON D.C. – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this week delivered remarks on the Senate floor commemorating the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth. Read his full remarks below.

“I rise today to recognize the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth. On Saturday, we mark 156 years since June 19th, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston that the Civil War was over, and that enslaved people were now free. In his announcement, General Granger said, ‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property.’

“In commemoration of this momentous day, June 19th became known as Juneteenth. In the years following the Civil War and in the early 20th century, Juneteenth has been celebrated as a holiday of independence.

“While Juneteenth has been celebrated in states across the country, it carries a special significance in Texas, where Juneteenth celebrations began. In 1872, four men in Houston, my hometown, purchased the land for Emancipation Park, the oldest park in Texas, as a site for Juneteenth celebrations. In 1980, the State of Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday. Today, 47 states recognize Juneteenth.

“I am proud to cosponsor the Senate resolution designating June 19th, 2021 as Juneteenth Independence Day to honor the historical significance this day has in the United States.

“Juneteenth is an important day. It’s a somber reminder of the original sin of slavery that our nation inherited from colonial powers. Still, it is also a celebration of the fact that our country strives each and every day to make good on its promise to protect the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all men and all women who are created equal.

“Our country was founded on the revolutionary belief that all men are created equal and that means no matter where we come from, or where we started, any one of us can live freely and achieve great things. The story of America, the story of Juneteenth, is a story of freedom.

“While we’ve had many troubled chapters along the way, I for one agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that the arc of history is long and that it bends towards justice. We’ve made significant progress on that arc. So on Saturday, as we commemorate the long overdue announcement of emancipation made in Texas 156 years ago, let us together remember the God-given freedoms we all cherish as Americans.”

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