PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh loves its parades.
The Juneteenth Celebration marks the end of slavery. It is traditionally celebrated on June 19. This year, the organizers, Stop the Violence Pittsburgh, spread Juneteenth over an entire weekend as part of Pittsburgh’s bi-centennial observation. It was more than music and marching through the streets, including a Sunday church service.
“It’s an ecumenical prayer service. People from various faiths, communities and traditions,” said Greta Stokes Tucker with the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The Sunday memorial at Saint Thomas the Moor included Bishop David Zubik. He was reminded of comments made decades ago by a famous pastor during the march to Washington.
“It hearkens back to 1963 to one of Martin Luther King’s most famous of all speeches when he said ‘free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I am free at last,” he said.
“I am just thrilled that the organizers of the Juneteenth event this year included our church and our diocese in this important celebration,” Tucker said.
Saturday’s parade was a re-enactment of the 1870 Jubiliee Parade. It was held to celebrate the 15th amendment that gave African American men the right to vote.
“We have to continue to be free and we have to continue to be open to everybody, and I am glad to be a part of this of this prayer service this morning too,” Bishop Zubik said.