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:

The "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 display 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 observance.

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 S.R. 211, "Observing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day" in America.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation recognizing the "19th of June" as Juneteenth Independence Day in America.

I would like to schedule a meeting with you, at your earliest convenience, to present you with an official Juneteenth Flag, 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 of the 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 1948.

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


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