VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A group of surfers in Virginia Beach found a unique way to pay their respects and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the group held a “Paddle Out” session at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach.
Wading in the water, dozens of surfers honored George Floyd the best way they knew how.
“Paddle out is about remembering those that we have lost and honoring them and their memory,” said Addie Abcede.
A Chesapeake native, Abcede has been a surfer all her life. Abcede said that she was not able to attend the protests on Sunday night, but wanted to raise awareness and promote the BLM mission.
Nancy Salter, a stand up paddle boarder, and Abcede sent a message to others in the surfing community. About 35 people came to the waterfront.
Salter and Abcede got the idea from a nationwide movement in the surfing community where surfers are paddling out, filling the oceans in peaceful protest to honor George Floyd.
The group united in a circle for a moment of silence.
“After the moment of silence, we just sang and praised, splashing water, cheering, loving,” Salter said.
“I felt a lot of love. Just everybody coming together was just harmonious and peaceful,” Abcede said.
Abcede says Floyd’s death has sparked a much-needed conversation that’s long overdue.
“I think it’s about time. I think it’s about time for us to see the change that needs to happen,” she said.
What happens next could be a defining moment in history.
“We’re looking at the world right now and it feels hectic and chaotic and crazy and it’s like ‘Oh my gosh, what can we do?’” Salter said. “Really, the answer starts right here with us.”
Another paddle out is scheduled at the Oceanfront on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. The group will start gathering at 6 p.m.
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