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It is time for the government to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

June 19, known as Juneteenth, is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. The date marks the occasion in 1865 when Army Gen. Gordon Granger read the proclamation in Galveston, Texas, that all slaves were freed. This came about two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union Army.

This marks an important step toward the United States of America living up to its ideals, which could not happen while slavery was practiced within its borders.

The Declaration of Independence calls it a self-evident truth that all men are created equal. Gen. Granger’s Juneteenth proclamation echoes that sentiment.

“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 between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

The fight for equal rights and equal opportunity has been a long hard journey that continues to this day. In recent weeks, protests have swept the nation and beyond in response to police brutality, serving as a stark reminder that the fight for equality is far from over.

This is why it is important now more than ever to mark the occasion when a giant step forward was taken to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

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