Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 06/20/06 A wet day Monday did not keep more than 200 people from turning out for the annual Juneteenth prayer breakfast at Ashton Villa. Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas welcomed those who had traveled from across the state to celebrate in the birthplace of Juneteenth, the nation’s oldest celebration of African-American freedom. In urging the audience to take a look at the Juneteenth statue standing outside, Thomas made reference to a controversy concerning the statue’s resemblance to Al Edwards, the state representative who pushed through legislation declaring Juneteenth a state holiday. Also offering praise of Edwards was Ben Raimer, vice president of community outreach at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “Al Edwards is a tenacious and wonderful man who puts the needs of others first,” he said.