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Locals Honor Lives Lost in Juneteenth Celebrations

In light of the tragedy that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina, this past week, those taking part in Juneteenth celebrations say embracing the theme "Empowering communities and changing lives" is important in helping to work
through a time of despair.

Juneteenth also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day is an American
holiday commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865.
It honors African American heritage and is celebrated by people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.
Hundreds came out to Columbus Park in Binghamton for the annual Juneteenth Celebration. Today's free event included
food, vendors, live music and speakers from throughout the community.

"You don't find a person who's just like you, you want to meet different people. You want to learn different experiences. So that's what I feel for why it's important for other people, not necessarily who are a part of the black community, to be a part of it, because then it expands the community just that much more to the human community," said Keynote Speaker at Juneteenth Celebration and Member of Students for Change Organization Kymel Yard.

Organizers highlighted the importance of Juneteenth and its historical background in order to learn from past and to prevent similar events from happening in the future.