Beverly Neal-Clinton, left, and Andrea Determan, far right, accept a proclamation declaring June 19 as Juneteenth in Los Alamos County from Council Vice Chair Theresa Cull. Photo by Julie Williams-Hill/LAC
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council during a regular meeting Tuesday evening proclaimed Monday, June 19 as Juneteenth in Los Alamos County. Accepting the proclamation were Beverly Neal-Clinton and Andrea Determan.
Neal-Clinton said she was filled with immense pride and gratitude gathering at the Council meeting to commemorate and celebrate the proclamation of Juneteenth.
“This day makes a significant milestone in our nation’s history, a day that symbolizes freedom, justice and the indomitable spirit of humanity. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day holds a special place in the hearts of millions of Americans. It is a day that honors the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the United States and it serves as a powerful reminder of a long and arduous journey towards equality and justice for all,” she said. “As we reflect upon the significance of Juneteenth, we acknowledge the struggles, sacrifices and triumphs of those who came before us. We pay tribute to generations of African-Americans who fought against the chains of oppression, persevered through unimaginable hardships and ultimately paved the way for the liberties we hold dear today.”
Neal Clinton said the proclamation of Juneteenth is not merely a symbolic gesture
“It is a testament to our commitment to truth, reconciliation, and unity. By officially recognizing and commemorating Juneteenth, we acknowledge the painful chapters of our history and work towards healing the wounds that still persist. This proclamation represents a powerful step forward in our collective journey towards a more inclusive and equitable society,” she said. “Juneteenth reminds us that freedom is not a given but a precious right that must be fiercely protected and vigilantly nurtured. It reminds us of the responsibility we bear to ensure that every individual, regardless of their race, creed or background, can live a life free from discrimination and prejudice. It calls upon us to confront the challenges that continue to divide us and to strive relentlessly towards a future where equality and justice are not mere aspirations but lived realities for all.”
Neal-Clinton continued, “Today, let us not only celebrate the remarkable achievements of the past, but also recommit ourselves to the work that lies ahead. Let us use this day as a catalyst for change, to deepen our understanding, to amplify marginalize voices and to dismantle the systemic barriers that still hinder progress. In proclaiming Juneteenth as a day of remembrance, reflection and resilience we send a powerful message to the word that our nation is built on principles of freedom, quality and justice. We stand united, resolute in our determination to create a future where every person, regardless of their background, can thrive and flourish. Thank you all for joining me in this momentous occasion as we embrace the proclamation of Juneteenth and embark on a journey of hope, healing and unity. Together let’s build a brighter and more equitable future for generations to come. May the spirit of Juneteenth inspire us all today and always”.
“Proclamation declaring Monday, June 19, 2023 as “Juneteenth” in Los Alamos County
WHEREAS, on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, setting in motion the end of slavery in the United States; and
WHEREAS, it was not until June 19, 1865, that it was announced to those still enslaved in Texas: “The people are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free”; and
WHEREAS, celebration of the end of slavery, which became known as Juneteenth, is the oldest known public celebration of the end of slavery in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and celebrates the successes gained through education and greater opportunity; and
WHEREAS, on a larger scale, celebration of Juneteenth reminds each of us of the precious promises of freedom, equality, and opportunity which are at the core of the American Dream; and
WHEREAS, in June 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, and in February 2022, the Los Alamos County Council adopted a personnel rule to observe Juneteenth as a holiday for Los Alamos County government to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
NOW, THEREFORE, on behalf of the Council of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, I do hereby proclaim Monday, June 19, 2023, as “JUNETEENTH” in Los Alamos County and urge our citizens to become aware of the significance of this celebration in American History and in the heritage of our nation, state and county.”