George Floyd Remembered at Final Memorial Service in Houston, Will Be Laid to Rest Next to His Mother

The gold casket carrying Floyd will later be transported to a horse drawn carriage for the last mile to the cemetery in Pearland.

Today, the world says goodbye to George Floyd.

The last in a series of memorial services for the 46-year-old Minneapolis man, who died in police custody last month, took place at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, with a burial to follow. Floyd will be laid to rest in Pearland, next to his beloved mother.

Fountain of Praise co-pastors Remus E. Wright and Mia K. Wright noted that the memorial would be a "homecoming" service for Floyd. "We will mourn and we will find hope," Mia said.

About an hour into the celebration of life, a pre-recorded video message from Joe Biden played. The Democratic presidential nominee privately met with Floyd's family one day prior.

"As I've said to you privately, we know. We know you will never feel the same again," he said. "Unlike most, you must grieve in public, and it's a burden. A burden that is now your purpose to change the world for the better, in the name of George Floyd."

"Ladies and gentlemen, we can't turn away. We must not turn away ... America can do better. America has no choice but to do better," he continued. "We can heal this nation's wounds. Today, now, is the time. The purpose, the season, to listen and heal."

Floyd's aunt, Kathleen McGee, then came to the podium with her family, to thank people across the world for their love and support the past few weeks.

"I'd like to thank the whole world for what it's done for my family," she said. "I just want to thank each and every one of you. I have gained such a huge family all over the world. I have so many sisters and brothers now, I have so many aunts and uncles, and I just want to thank you all."

"Everyone's going to remember him now," Floyd's brother, Philonise, added. "He's going to change the world."

The family's speeches were followed by an appearance from Ne-Yo, who sang "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday."

"How do I say goodbye, to what we had? The good times that made us laugh outweigh the bad," he sang, holding back tears. "I thought we'd get to see forever, but forever's gone away. It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday."

Rev. Al Sharpton closed the service by delivering a powerful eulogy, asking the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, fathers of Michael Brown and Ahmaud Arbery, sister of Botham Jean, and the family of Pamela Turner (all in attendance) to stand with Floyd's family, as "they know better than anyone else the pain they will suffer."

"I want to give honor to the family and a commitment. When the last TV truck is gone, we'll still be here," he promised. "We must commit to this family that until these people pay for what they did, that we're going to be with them, because lives like George's will not matter until someone pays the cost for taking their lives."

"Your family is going to miss you, George, but your nation is always going to remember your name," he added. "We're going to fight on."

The church limited the gathering to 500 people (20 percent capacity) due to concerns over the coronavirus. In addition to Floyd's family members, several celebrities, activists and public figures attended the private funeral service, including Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Floyd Mayweather, J.J. Watt and Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien.

Members of the New Black Panthers were also spotted outside the church Tuesday morning, as KHOU 11's Chris Costa reported on Twitter.

Additionally, a tweet from the Harris County Sheriff's Office revealed that their department observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of Floyd's memory. "We join all those mourning Mr. Floyd as he is laid to rest today here in Houston," they shared.

Later Tuesday, the gold casket carrying Floyd will be transported to a horse drawn carriage for the last mile to the cemetery in Pearland. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is also set to declare June 9, 2020 as George Floyd Day in the county, local news station KHOU 11 reports.

Following Floyd's first memorial service in Minneapolis last week, ET spoke with Kevin Hart and Tyrese Gibson. Hart said their presence at the memorial was about "standing with the family." 

"[It's] just literally letting them know that they're not alone. We now have a job to do, which is elevate our voices, use our platforms and really push the initiative for change," Hart shared. "So for me, it was a no-brainer just to come. More importantly, when you just look at what's going on globally, you look at the many different voices that are now being used and people are lying to themselves."

"You make it a point to be a part of a mission that's for good, and I think that right now it's not only time for change, but I think that it's happening," he added. "There's a positive in every negative, and I think there's gonna be an amazing positive coming out of this." 

Gibson shared similar sentiments, telling ET, "Unfortunately as a black man, we have been in these rooms way too many times." 

"God has given us all a platform, a stage, an influence... this pain is going to turn into a lot of benefits for a lot of people," he expressed. "I thank God I am here. I just want to send my most sincere prayers. I just hope the family will invite Lord Jesus Christ, because only he can give them a level of security and stand with them. This all hurts." 

Hear more in the video below.


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