Airmen participate in memorial walk to recognize Juneteenth
By Senior Airman Nicolas Z. Erwin, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 19, 2020
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
Airmen with the 28th Bomb Wing came together to recognize Juneteenth during a special walk at the base lakes on Ellsworth June 19.
Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 when Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger announced the federal orders proclaiming all people held as slaves in Texas were free.
“Although this is a celebration, it is also a time of reflection,” said Master Sgt. Jessica Wheeler, 28th Force Support Squadron section chief of readiness and plans. “We need this day to be recognized by everyone … to recognize the importance of it, and recognize the changes we are still going through to make this day stand out equally to every other recognized holiday.”
The base’s African-American Heritage Committee had planned a large-scale event where people could gather and take time to think about the meaning behind the day. Due to the Novel Coronavirus 2019 pandemic, the event venue was changed to a one and one-half mile memorial walk for all base personnel.
“With everything going on with COVID, we needed to have an event [where] people could be spread out,” Wheeler said. “This let us bring everyone together without issue.”