Juneteenth is the quintessential American observance
Juneteenth is a celebration of one of the most amazing and unprecedented events in history and highlights one of the many reasons why America is truly exceptional.
Think about it this way: never before had a group of free people who made up the ethnic majority of a nation and who had no possibility of being enslaved themselves risked everything to band together with a few freed slaves to fight such a costly and brutal war to free an ethnic minority, who had zero possibility of being free had it not been for the blood, sweat, and commitment of those willing to fight for their freedom.
Democrats want to focus on how shameful America was and is. President Joe Biden called Juneteenth "a day of profound weight and profound power," saying it offers a chance to "remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country, and continues to, in what I've long called America's original sin."
Vice President Kamala Harris, stated, "Jubilee Day. Freedom Day. Liberation Day. Emancipation Day. And today, a national holiday."
"When we establish a national holiday, it makes an important statement," Harris continued. "These are days when we as a nation have decided to stop and take stock and often to acknowledge our history."
I agree, up to a point. Slavery was, still is, and always will be, bad.
However, fighting a war to end it was unprecedented, extremely good, and uniquely American!
We are a country of heroes, not victims.
We are a country that celebrates redemption — i.e., second, third, and fourth chances.
We are one unified nation that sees its citizens, despite all their cultural, ethnic, religious, political, and countless other differences, willingly subjugate themselves to the rule of law and consistently stand against what is wrong.
We have done it before, and we will continue to do it in the future.
So especially now, when there are some who attempt to create disunity, division, and hatred within our nation, we err if we learn only negative lessons from our past. It is as important — maybe more important — to celebrate that which is amazing about our unique American experience.
Image: Officers of 139th Penn. Inf. by Matthew Brady. The U.S. National Archives. Public domain.
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