FRAMINGHAM – A Juneteenth flag raising ceremony was held at Framingham High School this morning, June 18, the day after President Joseph Biden signed a law to make Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday annually on June 19.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law in 2020 making Juneteenth a state holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On June 17, 2020, State Rep. Maria Robinson (D-Framingham) filed the legislation to create a “Juneteenth Independence Day” as a state holiday in Massachusetts.
This morning Framingham High Superintendent Bob Tremblay, Framingham High Principal Carrie Banach, and Framingham High Dean of Students Omawali Stewart hoisted the Juneteenth flag just below the American flag before a crowd of more than 100 at Framingham High School.
City of Framingham offices are closed today to mark the state holiday. Schools are open, as the state holiday was passed after the school calendar was set and after negotiations with the school’s unions.
Next year, the holiday will fall on a Sunday, and the Monday will be a no school day, said Supt. Tremblay.
In attendance was Rep. Robinson, Rep., jack Patrick Lewis, Mayor Yvonne Spicer, City Councilor Janet Leombruno, City Councilor Robert Case, City Councilor Cesar Stewart-Morales, School Committee Vice Chair Tiffanie Maskell, School Committee member Scott Wadland, School Committee member Ricky Finlay. School Committee member Jessica Barnhill, and School Committee member Willie LaBarge.
SOURCE will have a full report with a slideshow and video later.
According to Juneteenth.com, “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 war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that 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, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.”