According to Fox News on Monday, thousands of mourners gathered at the funeral of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson on Aug. 9. Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis was filled with those to came to pay their last respects. The church's sanctuary seats about 2,500 filled quickly. Overflow rooms holding another 2,000 were also full to capacity. Many people who could not get inside the church waited outside. Ambulance crews were on hand in case of any heat-related illnesses since the temperature was expected to rise close to 100 degrees.
The Huffington Post reported that President Barack Obama sent three White House aides. Others well-known people in attendance included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, moviemaker Spike Lee and entertainer Sean Combs, Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter House, several members of Congress, two children of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., parents of Trayvon Martin as well as many local and regional civil rights leaders. The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the funeral.
On both sides of the closed casket were poster-size pictures of the teenager wearing headphones. On top of the casket was Brown's St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap along with a large bouquet of roses. Large projection screens showed a photo of Brown clutching his high school diploma while wearing his cap and gown. He had been scheduled to start training at a technical school two days after his death. He wanted to become a heating and air-conditioning technician.
On Sunday, Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., asked protesters to take a break on Monday and observe a "day of silence" so the family could grieve. Brown's request appeared to be honored because at the Ferguson Police Department, where protesters have stood vigil for two weeks were missing. Instead, a handmade sign announced a "break for funeral."
Monday also marked the first day back at school for students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Classes were scheduled to begin Aug. 14, but they were postponed because of safety concerns.