For Immediate Release: June 19, 2021
Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following the Establishment of Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday
“The legislation signed by President Biden that establishes Juneteenth as a federal holiday is an occasion for all in our country to recognize the many people who sacrificed, suffered and fought to extend freedom in our country. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. This recognition provides an opportunity for all to learn more about June 19 or Juneteenth and its history.
“Let this holiday be one of furthering our communion with one another as members of the Body of Christ. As noted in the 2018 U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter on racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts,”: “From revelation, we know that the one God who created the human race is Triune, a communion of truth and love, and so by faith we recognize all the more clearly that human beings are, by their very nature, made for communion.”
“It is with hope that this holiday, along with Martin Luther King, Memorial Day and Fourth of July, is a reminder that we can progress as a people to ensure the promise of our nation to guarantee the blessings of liberty and justice for all.”