WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Senate last night passed a resolution cosponsored by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) celebrating the 10-year commemoration of the Underground Railroad Memorial.
“I am proud that Pennsylvania played such a critical role in the Underground Railroad,” said Senator Casey. “One of the most famous ‘conductors’ on the Underground Railroad was Harriet Tubman, who escaped to Pennsylvania and then repeatedly returned south to escort more slaves to freedom. This resolution honors the extraordinary deeds of men and women who secured freedom for their fellow Americans.”
The resolution recognizes the journey tens of thousands of people of African descent made to escape their chains to “follow the perilous Underground Railroad northward towards freedom in Canada.”
Senator Casey introduced the resolution along with Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Kerry (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The full text of the resolution is below:
Celebrating the 10-year commemoration of the Underground Railroad Memorial, comprised of the Gateway to Freedom Monument in Detroit, Michigan and the Tower of Freedom Monument in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Whereas millions of Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the American colonies from 1619 through 1865;
Whereas Africans forced into slavery were unspeakably de- based, humiliated, dehumanized, brutally torn from their families and loved ones, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage;
Whereas tens of thousands of people of African descent silently escaped their chains to follow the perilous Underground Railroad northward towards freedom in Canada;
Whereas the Detroit River played a central role for these passengers of the Underground Railroad on their way to freedom;
Whereas, in October 2001, the City of Detroit, Michigan joined with Windsor and Essex County in Ontario, Canada to memorialize the courage of these freedom seekers with an international memorial to the Underground Railroad, comprising the Tower of Freedom Monument in Windsor and the Gateway to Freedom Monument in Detroit;
Whereas the deep roots that slaves, refugees, and immigrants who reached Canada from the United States created in Canadian society remain as tributes to the determination of their descendants to safeguard the history of the struggles and endurance of their forebears;
Whereas the observance of the 10-year commemoration of the Underground Railroad Memorial will be celebrated from October 19 through October 22, 2011;
Whereas the International Underground Railroad Monument Tenth Anniversary Planning Committee is pursuing the designation of an International Freedom Corridor and the nomination of the historic Detroit River as an Inter- national World Heritage Site;
Whereas the International Underground Railroad Monument Tenth Anniversary Planning Committee recognizes that a National Park Service special resources study may establish the national significance, suitability, and feasibility of an International Freedom Corridor;
Whereas the designation of an International Freedom Corridor would include the States of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky, the Detroit,
Mississippi, and Ohio Rivers, which traverse portions of these States, and any other sites associated within this International Freedom Corridor;
Whereas a cooperative international partnership project is dedicated to education and research with the goal of promoting cross-border understanding as well as economic development and cultural heritage tourism;
Whereas, over the course of history, the United States has become a symbol of democracy and freedom around the world; and
Whereas the legacy of African Americans is interwoven with the fabric of democracy and freedom in the United States: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
Celebrates the 10-year commemoration of the Underground Railroad Memorial, comprised of the Gateway to Freedom Monument in Detroit, Michigan and the Tower of Freedom Monument in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.