Sondra Fifer, of St. Louis, voices her disagreement with the rally for Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, at Barney's Sports Pub in St. Louis. "I'm not against officers, I'm against police brutality," Fifer said. Ferguson's streets remained peaceful as tensions between police and protesters continued to subside after nights of violence and unrest that erupted when Wilson, a white police officer, fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Huy Mach)
“We appreciate all the love and support that you have shown me and my family, tomorrow all I want is peace as we lay our son to rest,” said Michael Brown Sr., at Better Family Life’s 6th Annual Peacefest Sunday at Forest Park’s Central Field.
Hundreds braved the extreme heat to attend the event – which culminated with Michael Brown, Sr. as well as the parents of Trayvon Martin.
“St. Louis has stood with us, now we are here for you,” said Sybrina Fulton.
As the mother of Trayvon Martin, she can relate to the Brown family like few others.
Two years ago, it was Fulton standing before an audience to receive the outpouring of love and support as she mourned the death of her unarmed son at the hands of George Zimmerman.
On this day she stood in solidarity with Brown as he prepared to lay his 18-year-old son and namesake – who was killed at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
The elder Michael Brown, Fulton and Trayvon’s Father, East St. Louis Tracy Martin, Rev. Al Sharpton, and attorneys for the case surrounding his son’s tragic death on the eve of Michael’s funeral shared the stage at Peacefest.
“We want to thank our young people for starting this movement,” said attorney Benjamin Crump. “This is what you have created.”
They then proceeded to perform the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” chant and accompanying arm gesture that has permeated protests for more than two weeks.
But as they prepare for Michael Brown Jr.’s funeral, the family requests calm and quiet.
“We are asking for a day of silence,” Brown said.
Michael Brown Jr. will be laid to rest at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church at 10 a.m. this morning.
The sanctuary, which with overflow areas seats about 5,000, is expected to be at capacity for the service – which will be open to the public.
White House officials are among those scheduled to attend.
They include Broderick Johnson, chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, as well as Marlon Marshall, deputy director of the Office of Engagement and Office of Engagement advisor Heather Foster.
The Rev. Al Sharpton will eulogize Michael Brown, while Friendly Temple senior pastor Rev. Michael Jones will officiate.