In May 22nd 1863, General Order 143 established The Bureau of the United States Colored Troops, through which the real significance of Emancipation Proclamation was manifested. Over 209 thousand black soldiers and sailors, and 7 thousand white officers who lead them, prosecuted the war against the South. Forty-thousand paid the price that freed 4 million Africans from Biblical slavery.
The imagery of a sitting African-American president on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation is powerful symbolism of the great sacrifices made toward realizing the ideals articulated with the founding of this country. If your group is holding an event of reflection on New Year Eve, you may want to acknowledge the historical milestone.
Cpl Leon Brooks
6th Regiment USCT, Re-enactors