Tomorrow is the first time Payette will be recognizing Juneteenth as an official office holiday for all employees. We join many other businesses across the country, as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and also now the federal government, in recognizing this holiday, and have signed the Juneteenth Pledge.
Juneteenth is a holiday that has been celebrated by African Americans for 155 years, marking the day federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX on June 19th, 1865 and freed the last enslaved people. While the initial celebrations originated in Texas, the commemoration of this holiday has spread nationally amongst the African American community as a day of freedom with parades, festivals, barbeques and social gatherings.
We choose to recognize and celebrate this important holiday, in honor of the first day all people were free here in the United States. Payette believes in the importance of recognizing Juneteenth as a day for employees to learn, reflect and connect with their communities. We will gather as a Payette community this afternoon to come together for a picnic in celebration and encourage all our employees to spend the observed and actual holiday reflecting on our history and celebrating the progress that has been made.
Regardless of your race, we feel that the end of slavery is something that is worth all of us commemorating. This is why we choose to celebrate.