SAN ANTONIO – One by one, they trickled into the Fountain of Praise church in Houston to pay their final respects to George Floyd.
They may not have known him personally, but thousands stood and waited in the searing heat to say goodbye to the man whose death has sparked nationwide unrest over racial injustice.
Many mourners brought their young children, their flowers, their signs and their T-shirts that either had Floyd’s picture or the words “I can’t breathe” — some of his last words that have reverberated around the world.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the first to view the casket, and afterward said he was going to meet with Floyd’s family personally.
“George Floyd is going to change the arc of the future of the United States. George Floyd has not died in vain. His life will be a living legacy about the way that America and Texas responds to this tragedy,” Abbott said.
One mourner, Bracy Burnett, visited the memorial with a homemade mask scrawled with “8:46,″ which is the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer before he died.
Attendees were required to wear facemasks and stay 6 feet apart due to social distancing guidelines, but some briefly moved their coverings to wipe tears as they stood near Floyd’s gold-covered casket.
And although socially distanced, photos captured a sense of closeness amid strangers who shared grief and inspiration for change.
View some of the scenes from inside the church below.