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Sunnyside Memorial for George Floyd Draws Large Crowds

Memorial for George Floyd on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside (Photo courtesy of Brent O’ Leary)

June 3, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

A memorial that has gone up in front of a Sunnyside woman’s home honoring George Floyd is gaining plenty of attention and many supporters.

The memorial – which contains a picture of Floyd and several signs – was erected Monday outside the home of local singer Cathy Maguire at the corner of Skillman Avenue and 45th Street.

Maguire, an Irish immigrant, said she put up the memorial to commemorate Floyd’s life after he was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last week.

Maguire, in a Facebook video, said she hopes the tribute would also spark discussion about race relations in America.

The memorial went up Monday when Maguire placed a framed painting of Floyd inside her front garden fence.

The words “Justice for George” were printed above the illustration and candles were placed around it.

Memorial for George Floyd on Skillman Avenue (Photo courtesy of Brent O’ Leary)

People came out in large numbers to the memorial to pay their respect for Floyd, Maguire said on Facebook. Many residents, she added, wanted to show their solidarity so she put up a large board for people to sign.

Residents wrote messages like “rest in peace George,” “black lives matter,” and “no justice, no peace, rest in power.” Others have placed candles and flowers in front of the memorial.

The board has quickly filled up and the fence is now lined with about a dozen more signs of remembrance.

On Tuesday evening a large crowd gathered in front of the memorial and Maguire sang a rendition of Amazing Grace. Many sang along.

Maguire told her Facebook followers that she was amazed by the reaction from local residents.

“The response has been unbelievable, people have been coming along with their families….. people of all ages, of all ethnicities,” she said.

“New York is a very sad place to be at the moment,” Maguire said. “A lot of people are coming to say that this is not the New York that they knew, this is not the America that they knew.”

Civic organizer Brent O’Leary, who attended the event Tuesday, told the crowd that Sunnyside is standing together against racism and the community will make sure that change happens.

“Nobody should ever be treated differently, especially by our law enforcement and our government,” he said.

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