Holiday is an Opportunity for Celebration and Reflection
With President Joe Biden signing legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021, Governor JB Pritzker announced that state government offices will be closed Friday, June 18 in accordance with the new federal law recognizing the importance of emancipating enslaved Americans.
On Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker signed Illinois’ law to make Juneteenth a state holiday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, in the shadow of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“I’m pleased to see the federal government join Illinois in recognizing Juneteenth as an official holiday, offering all Americans a day to reflect on the national shame of slavery and the work we must do to dismantle systemic racism,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Most importantly, let us stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Black Americans who will celebrate Juneteenth as a milestone in their fight for every ounce of the freedom that is their God-given right – and continue with them in that fight.”
When Gov. Pritzker signed Illinois’ Juneteenth legislation earlier this week with the bill sponsors, he reiterated his commitment to leading the nation in dismantling structural racism.
In addition to closing state offices on Friday, June 18, Illinois will continue the recognition of Juneteenth throughout the state, lowering all flags covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act to half-staff on Saturday. In addition, a Juneteenth flag will fly proudly over the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield on every Juneteenth, starting this year.