Celebrating Juneteenth in Bonham - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Celebrating Juneteenth in Bonham

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BONHAM, TX -- This week marks the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth, the day in June that commemorates the end of slavery in Texas.

Prayers, history, and celebration surrounded the Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center in Bonham, Texas, for the annual celebration on Thursday.

Antron Patton said the day helps him appreciate how far our country has come.

"The freedom and liberties we have as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation really makes me proud of our country, proud to be an American, proud to serve our veterans here at the VA, and to share that message with them," he said.

Bonham Juneteenth celebration

From the time President Lincoln's proclamation reached Texas to today, the celebration has been a tradition all around the United States. 

"It's a lot of hard work, but I love it when it comes together," said Patton, who helped plan the Bonham event. "I think it actually lifts the morale of our employees and our veterans here, so it just keeps me motivated to do it again next year."

U.S. Army Veteran Clifton Graves said anything to bring the community together is a blessing.

"An event like this reminds you of the old neighborhoods, when they used to have block parties and everything, because everybody comes together as one," he said. "To me, that's wonderful. That's God's gift."

Veteran Clifton Graves