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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Fort Monroe Authority and Galveston Historical Foundation Partnership

WHEREAS, in 1607, European colonists noted they found great comfort from their long journey when they landed, thus naming the land Point Comfort; and, 

WHEREAS, for thousands of years indigenous people hunted and fished on the coastal lands and tidal waters that surround present day Fort Monroe; and, 

WHEREAS, in late August 1619, a privateer ship arrived at Point Comfort, present day Fort Monroe, carrying Africans who were kidnapped for the slave trade and denied human dignity; and, 

WHEREAS, the Civil War marked a turning point for Fort Monroe, when our country was bitterly divided; and,

WHEREAS, three men enslaved in Hampton and being used to support Confederate forces, escaped to Fort Monroe to be declared by the Union commander as Contraband of War the next day; and,

WHEREAS, as news traveled across the region that the “men were not returned as property to their enslaver”, thousands of people retreated to Fort Monroe to escape enslavement, thus it became known as Freedom’s Fortress; and, 

WHEREAS, this march to freedom that occurred at the same site where the first people were traded as property and later escaped to freedom, makes Fort Monroe unique as both the beginning of enslavement and later the beginning of the end of slavery; and,

WHEREAS, the Emancipation Proclamation, the first national step to abolish slavery, was signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, and on June 19, 1865, Union General Order 3 was read in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming freedom to enslaved people in Texas; and, 

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America recognize Juneteenth as a holiday; and,

WHEREAS, the unique historical connection between the first contraband decision of 1861 at Fort Monroe, and the proclamation of freedom in Galveston, Texas four years later, provided inspiration for the federally created 400 Years of African American History Commission; and,

WHEREAS, the partnership between the Fort Monroe Authority and the Galveston Historical Foundation will increase the promotion and awareness of Juneteenth through their continued efforts to educate and celebrate the message of freedom in preparation for the 250th Commemoration of America’s Independence;   

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize the formation of the FORT MONROE AUTHORITY AND THE GALVESTON HISTORICAL FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP to commemorate Juneteenth in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call the observance of this collaboration to the attention of our citizens.