A memorial service for George Floyd was held Saturday in his birthplace of Raeford, North Carolina where family members, public officials and clergy spoke, while thousands attended a public viewing earlier. Many of the speakers called for change amid days of national unrest after his death in Minneapolis.
"Enough. Don't let the life of George Floyd be in vain. It has become a sacrifice," said Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin. Addressing law enforcement officers, Peterkin said they need to say these six words: "We are part of the problem."
Peterkin told mourners to look and listen to the younger generation's calls for change.
"America, you better get this, what they're saying is there is going to be no peace until there is justice," he said.
Jeremy Collins, a representative for North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office, presented a flag to Floyd's family, who were dressed in white. Ruby Floyd, a relative, said "God is on our side."
One of Floyd's uncles, Isaac Floyd, sang an emotional "I Won't Complain" at the service.
Public officials honored Floyd and repeated calls for change.
"We're ready to usher in a new era of trust and justice and end this pandemic of racism in America," said Congressman G.K. Butterfield.
Two lines of about 100 people each formed outside the church, CBS Raleigh affiliate WNCN reported. When the hearse bearing Floyd's coffin arrived, chants of "Black Power," "George Floyd" and "no justice, no peace," echoed from beneath the covered entrance.
"It could have been me. It could have been my brother, my father, any of my friends who are black," a man in the crowd, Erik Carlos of Fayetteville, told WNCN. "It was a heavy hit, especially knowing that George Floyd was born near my hometown. It made me feel very vulnerable at first."
Before the private ceremony, thousands attend a public viewing, the Associated Press reported.
The first service for Floyd was held Thursday in Minneapolis. Family, friends and public officials gathered to honor him.