Community members of all ages gathered Saturday to commemorate Juneteenth. 

The Waveland Helping Hands Community Organization on Saturday hosted its eighth annual Juneteenth celebration.

Waveland Helping Hands President Earllean Washington said that Juneteenth is the celebration of the ending of the slavery in the United States.

According to www.juneteenth.com, on June 19, 1865, the "Union soldiers, led by Major Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free."

That was almost two-and-half-years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, the website states.

"The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new executive order," the website states. "However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance."

Washington said Saturday's event is a "gathering of community member."

Waveland's Helping Hands was formed to "work with the children," Washington said.

In addition to the Juneteenth celebration, the organization also hosts back-to-school supply drives, and events celebrating distinctive and famous members in black history.

Washington said that membership in Waveland Helping Hands is open to anyone.

For more information, contact Washington at 228-466-3519 or Clarence Harris at 228-343-1174.

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