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Celebrate Juneteenth

June 19, 2022

Juneteenth: Commemorating Freedom

SWAAAE celebrates Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Last year, the House of Representatives voted to make Juneteenth a Federal Holiday. 

A combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the civil war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, their forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Plaque commemorating Juneteenth.

Juneteenth commemorations are grounded in freedom. They recognize the struggles and challenges of the past – some of which have been overcome, while others are ongoing – and also the resilience and hope of people who strive to build a better future. 

SWAAAE, its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and our membership recognizes the significance of Juneteenth and its importance to our Aviation community.

United Airlines flight 1258 celebrating that every person on the flight crew, from pilots to gate agents and ramp staff, was black. Courtesy of CNN travel.

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