HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) — Sunday marked a historic day in Hermitage at the first-ever Juneteenth celebration at Buhl Park.

Dozens gathered to celebrate freedom.

“People have fought and died for us to be here today. So today, very, very important,” said event emcee Danielle Wilder.

“And that’s the biggest takeaway. We’re free. We’re free,” said event coordinator Lakisha Harrison.

Juneteenth has been a federally-recognized holiday for two years and many local leaders have made history hosting events honoring the holiday.

“I’m so proud to present this moment, you know, I say all I want to do is make sure Juneteenth we’re heard city to city, state to state,” Harrison said.

Many call Juneteenth a celebration but also say it’s a reminder of where our country started and the progress that needs to be done.

Harrison said change starts at home.

“Educate your children at home at an early age that we can do this. The color of our skin does not matter,” Harrison said.

Hopes are that the next generation to remember the holiday is more than a celebration.

“It means something and it’s important to teach them their past because without a past, there is no future,” Wilder said.