NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVANCE FOUNDATION (NJOF)
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL (NJCLC)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JUNETEENTH JAZZ PRESENTERS (NAJJP)
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman
P.O. Box 269
Belzoni, Mississippi 39038
662-392-2016 662-247-4767 Fax
February 11, 2017
The Honorable Jim Mattis
Secretary of Defense
United States of America
1000 Defense PNT
Washington, DC 20301-1000
Dear Secretary Mattis:
"19th of June",
Juneteenth Independence Day, is now being celebrated on military bases across the country and around the
world. Military personnel on many of these bases have contacted me about their patriotic celebrations and the desire to
Juneteenth Flags at their celebrations.
Juneteenth, or the
"19th of June", recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General
Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. Texas was the last state in rebellion to allow slavery
following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the
Emancipation Proclamation was
issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the issuing of
General Order #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second
Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African American holiday observance.
Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in
45 states. In 2003, the District of
Columbia passed legislation to recognize Juneteenth as a district holiday
Since 1997, the U.S. Congress has unanimously passed legislation recognizing Juneteenth for several years. For
example, in 2011, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) sponsored
H.R. 323 and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) sponsored of
"Observing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day" in America.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed
"19th of June" as
Juneteenth Independence Day
I would like to schedule a meeting with you, at your earliest convenience, to present you with an official
discuss the patriotic symbolism of freedom the flag represents and to personally express our appreciation for all that has
been done to continue to support Juneteenth Celebrations on military bases throughout America and around the world.
I have three sons in the military, two of whom have served six tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, one of my sons
traveled with me to Canada on Memorial Day to honor the
African American Army Engineers who built the
Alaska Alcan Highway.
These courageous soldiers are credited with ending segregation in the U.S. military when they completed the building
Sikanni Chief River Bridge on
October 28, 1942, against great odds. This ultimately led to the end of segregation in the U.S. military in
Meeting with you and
presenting you with a
Juneteenth Flag will be of great inspiration to the thousands of military personal who sacrificially
and courageously serve our country to fight for freedom.
A record number of
Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremonies, honoring our Black veterans, especially the 186,000 colored troops and 20,000 colored sailors who fought for their own
freedom during the Civil War, are taking place all across the nation.
Thank you for your consideration of this important patriotic matter. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
Founder & Chairman