OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Across the country and in the Chattahoochee Valley, at home tributes are going up for George Floyd.
East Alabama leaders joined together to honor Floyd’s memory as they gathered for a wreath laying ceremony at Courthouse Square in downtown Opelika Monday afternoon.
The wreath laying ceremony had a bit of a different tone than marches and rallies across Lee County in the wake of Floyd’s death. There were no poster board signs or chants for justice. Instead, Lee County elected officials, including law enforcement, gathered for a somber occasion reflecting on Floyd’s life and how to move forward.
“From the law enforcement community, we pride ourselves on being professional and conducting ourselves with honor and integrity," said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones. “And it’s a stand for that as well because certainly, if there are those within our ranks that don’t need to be there, then we are the first ones to make sure that they’re not.”
Opelika City Councilwoman Patsy Jones organized the ceremony.
“We have committed that we’re going to, as a combined body, look at our laws and see what kind of changes we can make," said Councilwoman Patsy Jones.
Mayor’s from Lee County’s three cities, Auburn, Opelika, and Smiths Station, all joined together in unity Monday afternoon.
“It’s very, very important that we come together this time to make sure that we show solidarity and love for one another. We’re all in this together," said Smiths Station Mayor Bubba Copeland.
“Our country is in upheaval right now, and I believe what we can do as leaders of Lee County is to say that we’re committed to make sure that our community, and our county, and our neighborhood,s and our cities function as best as they can. And all of our citizens have a great chance to have a hopeful future," said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders.
They paused for a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which is the length of time associated with Floyd’s death.
“There’s an appropriate time for silence. There’s an appropriate time for speaking. I think today was the appropriate time for silence and the silence was deafening," said Sheriff Jay Jones.
Representatives from the Lee County state delegation, Lee County commissioners, and city councilors from Opelika, Auburn, and Smiths Station also participated in the wreath laying ceremony.