Goodfellow hosts Juneteenth commemoration ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jermaine Ayers
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Training Wing hosted its first Juneteenth commemoration ceremony, June 16.

The purpose of the event was to educate Goodfellow members on Juneteenth and its significance in American history.

The event featured six guest speakers, including games and prizes for those who participated.

Lt. Col. Erwin Mason, 316th Training Squadron commander, was one of the guest speakers and shared why this event was so special to him.

“I took command on Juneteenth one year ago” said Mason. “Today Americans of all creeds and colors are here together to honor the history of the country.”

Juneteenth was established following the events of June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and they were free.

Showcasing our varied backgrounds and educating service members with events as such as these help drive a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the 17th TRW.

“Black Americans can celebrate today and rejoice in the spirit of freedom” said John Pope, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. and Galilee Baptist Church pastor. “By examining the challenges of today and our shared responsibilities, we can work to make things better for all people. If we would join together, learn about one another and work with each other, we will see a better tomorrow in the United States of America.”

President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law as a federal holiday on June 17, 2021.

This year Juneteenth falls on Sunday, GAFB will be closed in observance of the federal holiday on June 20.