George Floyd will never be forgotten. The 46-year-old was remembered at an emotional memorial service held in Raeford, North Carolina — his birthplace — on Saturday, June 6. Hundreds gathered for the public viewing to pay tribute to George less than two weeks after he was killed by police officers. George was escorted by the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office before a public viewing that was scheduled for 11am to 1pm at Cape Fear Conference B, which is about 24 miles from Fayetteville. A private family service is set to take place at 3pm today which will be broadcast.
Sheriff Hubert Peterkin, the sheriff of Hoke County — where George’s sister Bridgette still lives — posted the open invitation on social media. “As the Sheriff of Hoke County, I’m asking on behalf of the Floyd family for those who plan on attending the viewing/memorial service to be respectful to the sensitivity of the family’s time of grief,” he wrote on via Facebook on June 4. “The memorial is about the life that Mr. George Floyd lived and this is a time to embrace the family with expressions of love and kindness,” he added.
The service is one of three taking place, following memorials in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Houston, Texas. George was born in North Carolina, then later lived in Texas for a number of years. At the time of his death, Floyd called Minneapolis — where he lost his life — home.
Millions across America and beyond have come together in solidarity to mourn George, who was killed after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Despite saying “I can’t breathe,” now-fired officer Derek Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck while three other officers — Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Keung — stood by. All were fired, subsequently arrested and charged.
“When I looked this time and saw marches where, in some cases, young whites outnumbered the blacks marching, I know that it’s a different time and a different season,” national civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton said at his service in Minneapolis. “Go on home, George. Get your rest, George. You changed the world, George.”