HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation has been celebrated at the Connecticut state Capitol.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman on Tuesday marked the 150th anniversary of the signing by President Abraham Lincoln, which signaled the abolition of slavery.
The event was held in the north lobby of the state Capitol. Wyman discussed how Lincoln's courage in signing the proclamation can provide inspiration and guidance today.
The celebration was sponsored by The Amistad Committee, the General Assembly's African-American Affairs Commission, the Connecticut Freedom Trail Committee and the Office of the Secretary of the State.
State Sen. Toni Harp of New Haven served as the keynote speaker. Poetry readings, performances and the ringing of the Capitol's Liberty Bell replica were planned.
"This day to me is so rewarding that we've come this far, but also remembering, we have a lot more to do," said Gayle Martin of Wethersfield.
"No matter how you got here, some boats made different stops, but somehow I got here and I'm happy to be here," said Ashley Johnson of Hartford.
There was great optimism in the crowd but also many who know there is still a journey ahead to accomplish the vision of Lincoln and later, King, to eradicate stereotypes, racism and cultural division. Lincoln wanted all to be free from the venom of prejudice.
"For the majority of people, human will exist, the will to work on it, and that's refreshing," said Rev. Alvan Johnson of Bloomfield.
"I think we can move forward together," said Ashley Johnson.
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