The Vienna Town Council on Dec. 7 unanimously adopted a resolution to recognize Liberty Amendments Month, which will honor the ratification of the U.S. Constitution’s 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th amendments.
The celebratory month will begin June 19 next year on Juneteenth, which pays homage to the date in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned they were free.
Vienna’s celebrations will continue through the third Monday of the following month, which in 2021 will be July 19.
That day is the official Vienna town holiday of Liberty Amendments Day, which the Council adopted in September. In exchange for that new holiday, the town will remove Columbus Day as an official holiday, said Town Manager Mercury Payton.
The town will host special activities and events during Liberty Amendments Month next summer, said Vienna Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Herman.
The Vienna Parks and Recreation Department will collaborate with Historic Vienna Inc., service clubs and other groups on those events, Payton said.
A committee made up of several such groups already is working on celebrations for that month, said Council member Charles Anderson.
“They’re coming up with some really, really great ideas,” he said. “It’s looking like it’s going to be a month-long commemoration that will all be very meaningful and fun at the same time.”
The town’s planned celebration grew from one day to a month because Virginia legislators this year made Juneteenth an official state holiday. Vienna officials are pressing for legislation next year to recognize Liberty Amendments Month.
“It’s very exciting,” Anderson said. “We’re creating something that could not only be for our town, but could be for the whole state and who knows where else.”
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