“One hundred and fifty-three years ago, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It took two more years for the men, women, and children who lived their lives in bondage in Galveston, Texas, to learn that the Civil War was over—and they were free at last. Today, we celebrate and honor those who fought to end the grotesque institution of slavery, and we recommit ourselves to the work that remains.
“Our country’s long struggle with racism is far from over. More than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled—more than a century and a half after slavery was outlawed—race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. We need to face that reality, and fix it.
“America is stronger together. When all people can share in the promise of our country. When every child has the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. When we lift each other up. And when we all come together to build a more perfect union.”