Casey Cosponsored Resolution Celebrates the 10-year Commemoration of the Underground Railroad Memorial

Pennsylvania Played Critical Role in Underground Railroad

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.