On June 19, 1865, (two and half years after President Lincoln’s official Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863), 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. The popular General Order no. 3 read by General Granger stated as follows:
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”
The reading of the proclamation was received with jubilation and celebration that began a tradition that has lasted for over a century and half across America and even beyond.
And while we celebrate this freedom, let us strive to eliminate the remnants of slavery that exist today in varoius disguises such as – Child labor, human trafficking, third world indebtedness, etc. Let us forgive the evils of slavery, let us learn the lessons in its history, and let us proceed with the resultant resolution towards building a better future of love, freedom, tolerance, and understanding.
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