ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - On this day in 1865 remaining slaves in Texas were freed, following the end of the Civil War. The celebration that followed lasted into the following year, creating a celebration that is known as Juneteenth.
Airmen gather together to celebrate Juneteenth at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
In celebration of the holiday airmen gathered in Ellsworth's chapel community center to eat and hear about the history of the celebration. Kas Williams, the chief diversity officer at South Dakota State University gave a presentation about the importance of June 19th. The date is primarily celebrated in Texas, but the holiday has spread throughout the country and even the world, according to Williams. For the airmen, it's a way to celebrate history and togetherness.
"We're all family. So this is something I love doing, I love doing events like this because you get to meet, socialize, learn history, and learn about different people and different things like that so i definitely love doing stuff like this and it actually is kinda heartwarming to see so many people come together," says Technical Sgt. Kim Powell.
Wednesday's festivities were the first time airmen at Ellsworth had celebrated Juneteenth.