Mayor Mark Lauretti and Police Chief Shawn Sequeira were announced as representatives of Shelton and Parade Marshals for the upcoming 2016 Juneteenth parade which will take place Saturday June, 11 in Bridgeport.
Juneteenth, or June 19, is the celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation or the abolition of slavery.
Both Lauretti and Sequeira described their selections to represent the city as a privilege.
“It’s flattering that people from the minority community and the Greater Bridgeport Area and Lower Fairfield County recognize who we are here in Shelton. I really represent the city at these things,” said Mayor Lauretti.
“It’s an honor for me to represent the city of Shelton. It’s something to be proud of when your community calls on you to be a representative,” said Chief Sequeira.
George Mintz, President of NAACP in Bridgeport, said Juneteenth commemorates United States’ first celebration of freedom. The Emancipation Proclamation was made official Jan. 1 1863, but it’s effects weren’t felt in all states immediately.
“The Declaration of Independence is a celebration of independence and the Emancipation was supposed to free all slaves in 1863, but the first celebration of freedom began June 19, 1865 in Texas.”
Mintz explained that Texas received the news of slavery being abolished two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was passed. There is much speculation as to why this happened, but no reason is certain.
On April 29 a ceremony for the Parade Marshals will be held at the Margaret Morton government center in Bridgeport.