Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the House Floor to mark Juneteenth, which is celebrated each June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S. Higgins recognized the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo and the work of community members who organize this celebration of culture and heritage.
Higgins also signed on as an original cosponsor of a resolution sponsored by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas to recognize June 19, 2014, as this year's observance of Juneteenth.
The text of Higgins' remarks is below:
"I rise today to honor Juneteenth. Each June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth to commemorate the announcement of the end of slavery in the United States.
"Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American freedom, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on opportunities for self-improvement and set goals for the future.
"This past weekend, I was honored to take part in the 39th annual Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo. Started in 1976, this festival has grown over the years to become one of the largest of such celebrations in the world, and has established its position as an important tradition within the Buffalo community.
"Mr. Speaker, I am honored to recognize Juneteenth today to celebrate our nation's rich African-American history and express my thanks to those who organize these important community celebrations of culture and heritage."