Juneteenth celebration at Montpelier aims to ‘honor and remember’

Juneteenth celebration at Montpelier aims to ‘honor and remember’

ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – Many gathered at James Madison’s Montpelier Saturday, June 15 to celebrate Juneteenth.

“Juneteenth is an opportunity to honor and remember,” CEO of James Madison’s Montpelier Eola Dance said.

Dance says Juneteenth marks a monumental moment for African American history.

“This particular day marks the annual programming around the Emancipation Proclamation. And that news traveling to Galveston, Texas,” Dance said.

That is what they are out celebrating at James Madison’s Montpelier.

“We actually use this as an opportunity to not only think about slavery and freedom, but to also talk about the contributions African Americans made to the making of America, in many ways,” Dance said.

This weekend also marks the five-year anniversary of the creation of the Montpelier Descendants Committee.

“It was like a beautiful day like today, and we gathered to talk about the burial site that was found on the property and to establish a community of descendants who could speak to what should happen at that site,” Montpelier Descendants Committee President Larry Walker said.

Walker says Juneteenth brings together all walks of life.

“This local community comes together and celebrates and recognizes the rich heritage that exists right here in the Orange County and throughout the Central Virginia region,” Walker said.

Walker also says he wants to continue honoring those who came before.

“We celebrate it every year all over the country, and right here at Montpelier, the home of the constitution is very significant, that at a place where a document considered us three-fifths of a person, we can now celebrate the freedom of all people,” Walker said.

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