State Watch

Prayer vigils, memorials to mark first ‘Ahmaud Arbery Day’ in Georgia

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A painting of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed during a vigil at New Springfield Baptist Church on February 23, 2021 in Waynesboro, Georgia.

Georgia on Wednesday will mark its first “Ahmaud Arbery Day” after state lawmakers decided to commemorate the day that the 25-year-old was murdered while jogging through a neighborhood.

On Wednesday, which is the second anniversary of Arbery’s death, lawmakers encouraged individuals to mark the day by running 2.23 miles in Arbery’s memory. Local prayer vigils and memorials were also scheduled for the day, according to The Washington Post

“On February 23, 2022, the State of Georgia honors one of its most distinguished citizens,” the lawmakers’ resolution said, “prior to the senseless loss of his life because of the color of his skin.”

The resolution also noted that Arbery was “a compassionate and generous man” who had “left an impact on countless Georgians and Americans.”

Additionally, the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation, which was created by his mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, urged people for 23 seconds to remember Arbery or to make a $23 donation to the foundation, the Post reported.

The anniversary comes just one day after a grand jury convicted Arbery’s killers — Travis McMichael, 36; his father, Gregory McMichael, 66; and William “Roddie” Bryan, 52 — of federal hate crime charges in the murder of the 25-year-old Black man.

While all three men were all convicted last year and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Arbery, their latest conviction was based on whether they targeted Arbery because of his race.

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