BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston community members and city officials gathered to celebrate an early flag-raising for Juneteenth on City Hall Plaza Monday afternoon.

June 19 recognizes the date in 1865 when the last enslaved people in Texas were finally freed. The Emancipation Proclamation was supposed to have taken effect more than two years earlier.

Mayor Michelle Wu spoke Monday on the importance of the holiday.

“Juneteenth is a story about freedom, but it’s also a story about action. It’s one that reminds us that for freedom to truly exist, it’s not enough to be named — it must be lived,” Wu said.

Wednesday will mark the fourth year of Juneteenth being recognized as a federal holiday.

Also in honor of Juneteenth, the National Park Service said it is waiving all entry fees Wednesday.

Although Juneteenth officially became a federal holiday in 2021, this year is the first time it will be a free entry day at U.S. National Parks. While entry will be free, fees will remain in effect for parking and activities like camping and fishing.

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