This past Saturday the City of Groton celebrated Juneteenth with a ceremony on the front steps of the Municipal Building. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful ceremony, which commenced at noon and was well attended.
Many local dignitaries and members of the community participated in the ceremony, all of whom highlighted the significance of the date in history and the joy of it finally being recognized as a national holiday.
The Reverend Joseph Coleman of St. John’s Christian Church began the day with a prayer. This was followed by Raven Wu singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” while the Juneteenth flag was raised. City of Groton Police Captain Patricia Lieteau and cadet Elviany Quiroz did the honors of raising the flag.
Several speakers followed the flag raising, including Jean Jordan (President of the New London NAACP Branch), Mayor Keith Hedrick, Ginny Bitting (League of Women Voters Southeastern Connecticut), Barbara Crouch (Thames Valley Council for Community Action) and finally keynote speaker Dr. Tracy Y. Espy, the President, Mitchell College.
The ceremony ended with a prayer by Reverend Joseph Coleman and closing song by Raven Wu.
The entire ceremony was expertly organized by Juliette Parker of the Police Department.