Mayor Reed calls for remembrance, reconciliation on Juneteenth

Mayor Reed calls for remembrance, reconciliation on Juneteenth
Mayor Steven Reed, seen here in this May 21 file photo, is calling on legislators to make Juneteenth a state holiday.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed signed a proclamation Thursday officially recognizing Juneteenth in the capital city.

Just a day before the commemoration marking the 155th anniversary to the end of slavery, Reed issued the proclamation calling on residents to commemorate the day.

“Decades of terror and misery followed, but Juneteenth allows us to commemorate the symbolic and historical end of slavery while reflecting on the long road to racial reconciliation in America,” Reed said.

Mayor Steven Reed's Juneteenth proclamation
Mayor Steven Reed's Juneteenth proclamation (Source: City of Montgomery)

Reed, who is the city’s first black mayor, said the capital city was among those around the state that “stand as tangible testaments to the uncommon courage and tenacity of the Civil Rights foot soldiers.”

But Reed reminded that “their journey to freedom began in chains and in tunnels on our cities’ main streets,” and that “decades of terror and misery followed.”

In calling for commemoration, Reed also said that the state has a history that “stretches far beyond the Civil War, but one that chooses to set aside three days a year to honor the Confederacy.”

“We must embrace Alabama’s full legacy,” he noted. “Juneteenth allows us to commemorate the symbolic and historical end of slavery while reflecting on the long road to racial reconciliation in America.”

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