EDINBURG – The community gathered Saturday to celebrate Juneteenth at Restlawn Cemetery to honor Jacob D. White, a local World War II veteran who died from injuries sustained in the wear. The city's black American Legion Post was named in his honor in 1947.
Juneteenth is the celebration of the end of slavery in Texas after the Civil War.
White died at Walter Reed Hospital after the sustaining injuries from a Kamikaze attack that struck the ship on which he was stationed.
"When the veterans returned, they named their post after him," Valerie Ramirez, organizer of Juneteenth said. "Everything was segregated at that time, so they couldn't be with the other veterans and they had their own Post from 1947 to 1959."
Edinburg was segregated before the civil rights movements, and just like most place around the country, African-Americans had their own schools and other institutions.
According to Ramirez, the Jacob White Post did a lot for the Carver school, which was the black school in town. They would supply playground equipment and other things that they might not receive from the school district.
After the celebration at Restlawn, a group of people gathered at the Sekula Library for a small performance from internationally renowned Edinburg Parks and Recreation Folkorico group.
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Juneteenth celebration at Restlawn.