Celebrating Fourth of July and Juneteenth


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By Jeff Thomas

Editor’s note: We are publishing this although Juneteenth has passed. Jeff Thomas enlightens by disclosing the unity in both celebrations, a unity that is beyond the months of June and July.
In the United States, two significant holidays reflect the nation’s complex and diverse history: Juneteenth and the Fourth of July. While the Fourth of July has been celebrated by many Americans since the country’s founding, Juneteenth has only recently gained recognition as a national holiday. Both days are deeply intertwined with the American values of freedom and liberty, and it is important for all Americans, including white Americans, to celebrate and understand the significance of both.
George Harms 4.
Juneteenth, observed on June Nineteenth, commemorates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, as decreed by the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier. This day marks a pivotal moment in American history when the nation took a significant step toward fulfilling its foundational promise of liberty for all.
George Harms 12.
DeclarationFourth of July
The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is celebrated on July Fourth and marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It is a day that symbolizes the birth of the United States as an independent nation and the beginning of its journey toward democracy and freedom.
For white Americans, celebrating Juneteenth is an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans in the pursuit of equality and justice. It is a time to reflect on the ongoing struggle against racial injustice and to commit to the ideals of liberty and equality that benefit all citizens. By recognizing the significance of Juneteenth, white Americans can show solidarity with their fellow citizens and help foster a more inclusive and understanding society.
Similarly, the Fourth of July is a celebration of independence and the democratic principles that guide the nation. It is a day for all Americans, regardless of race, to come together and commemorate the country’s founding ideals. For white Americans, it is also a chance to appreciate the diverse contributions that have shaped the nation and to recommit to ensuring that the promise of America is accessible to everyone.
Country Gets Better
Both Juneteenth and the Fourth of July serve as reminders of America’s ongoing journey toward a more perfect union. Each represents milestones in the nation’s history. The Constitution enshrines rights to all its people. Each holiday celebrates the significant progress toward extending these rights and freedoms. Celebrating these holidays together encourages unity and a shared sense of national identity.
Moreover, participating in Juneteenth and Fourth of July celebrations can be a powerful act of education and empathy. It allows individuals to learn about the experiences of others and to understand the different paths taken to achieve freedom and equality. This understanding is crucial for building a society that values and respects the dignity of every person.
Juneteenth and the Fourth of July are not just holidays for African Americans or white Americans. They are American holidays that celebrate the nation’s ideals and the progress made toward realizing them. For white Americans, celebrating both days is a way to honor the full spectrum of the American experience and to contribute to a culture of inclusivity and mutual respect. It is through this shared celebration that all Americans can come together to appreciate the richness of the nation’s history and to work toward a future where freedom and justice are truly universal.
As we approach these holidays, let us all, as Americans, embrace the spirit of unity and reflection they embody. Let us celebrate the strides we have made as a nation and recommit to the work that remains. In doing so, we honor the past, enrich the present, and inspire a future where every day is a step toward greater equality and understanding.

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