Whenever I get a chance to visit other places and people ask me where I’m from, I’m always proud to say I’m from Galveston. Matter of fact, I say I’m a BOI.
Of course, I normally have to explain what the acronym stands for and then I go into a whole spiel on how great my hometown is.
To me there’s no other city in Texas that has such rich history as Galveston. There are countless firsts — too many to even name here — and when I start thinking about the great natives of Galveston and the many contributions we’ve made not only locally and in the state, but nationwide, I smile to myself and say maybe one day I’ll be remembered the same way.
But there’s one piece of history that is near and dear to my heart that deserves all the recognition in the world; and that’s Juneteenth. If you read this paper regularly, you’ve seen many mentions from its inception (June 19, 1865), and you should know that we’ve been saying that Juneteenth should be an observed holiday in the United States.
Many editorials and guest columns have been written on not only the history of Juneteenth, but the need for the powers that be to declare it as a national observed holiday. I mean, it has been 151 years now in the making, and with the recent racial issues occurring in our nation I believe it’ll be a great way for President Barack Obama to finally do what many have been asking over the years before he leaves office.
With that being said, Opal Lee, a 90-year-old resident of Fort Worth and a founding member of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, has launched a grass-roots campaign to petition Congress and the President to take action on S.R. 201 and H.R. 316 this legislative session.
And you know what else she’s going to do? She’s putting her words into action. Lee will be walking 10 miles a day until she reaches Washington D.C. to spotlight the importance of Congress signing into law Juneteenth as a National Day of Observance. Talk about passion and perseverance.
So the question is, how can we help Lee in her mission? There’s an online petition that we all can sign to help bring more awareness to this campaign. Lee is hoping to get more than 100,000 signatures to the White House before Oct. 1. And if you’d like to help her by making a donation, visit her Go Fund Me page.