WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, issued the following statement in advance of Juneteenth, June 19, 2014. Sens. Cornyn and Cruz are original cosponsors of a Senate resolution introduced by Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI, recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day, which was approved unanimously by the Senate last week.
Today marks 149 years since Union General Gordon Granger landed on Galveston Island to bring the good news of emancipation to the state of Texas. Juneteenth is an important observance, started in Texas, that brings together all freedom-loving people to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States and to pay tribute to the generations of men and women who have fought for justice and liberty since our nations founding, Sen. Cornyn said.
Juneteenth is sober reminder of the original sin of our nation, but is also a celebration of a country that made good on its promise to protect the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans, said Sen. Cruz. As we commemorate the long-overdue announcement of emancipation made this day in Texas 149 years ago, let us together, in the words of James Weldon Johnson, lift every voice and sing in praise of the God-given freedoms we all cherish.