Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Mayor Jaron Rosien made two proclamations at the June 15 City Council Meeting.
The first declared June 19 “Juneteenth,” on the heels of similar federal and state declarations earlier that day. The other proclamation declared June 25 Marshal Aaron Bailey Day, after a Washington officer killed in the line of duty in 1930.
“Juneteenth observance highlights the experience of slavery in the annals of history and respects the cultural diversity of Iowa by recognizing the importance of sharing this experience,” Rosien said in the first proclamation. “Since its inception, Juneteenth has grown into a cultural treasure that is celebrated both nationally and internationally. Locally it is to be celebrated in our Central Park with music and inclusion of all individuals.”
Rosien noted Washington’s historical place as a part of the Underground Railroad and the location of the Young America School on Lexington Boulevard, the second recorded school in the United States to reject the “separate but equal” doctrine, in 1870.
Rosien also recognized Washington law enforcement in the proclamations.
“The City of Washington Police Department recognizes it’s committed to providing law enforcement services to the community with due regard for the racial, cultural or other differences of those served,” he said in the Juneteenth proclamation.
Rosien said that over 20,000 law enforcement officers had been killed on duty in the U.S. since 1791, including Washington City Marshal Aaron Bailey and Washington County Sheriff William Sweet, who died June 25, 1930. Both have names engraved in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Bailey has a memorial plaque in the city police department.
Rosien said both proclamations were only in effect for their dates in 2021.