Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

8 minutes and 46 seconds June 5, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


TIME. For two hours Thursday afternoon, I watched the memorial service for George Floyd in Minneapolis broadcast on TV. Singing. Praying. Sharing of memories. Laughing. Crying. Calls for justice. And in the end, at the end, it was the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that mourners stood in silence which felt the most intensely and emotionally powerful. The length of time a former Minneapolis police officer, now charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, was shown in a video kneeling on Floyd’s neck. It seemed an interminably long time.


Garden art given to me by my mom many years ago. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


TIME. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who spoke at the service, quoted Ecclesiastes 3, which references time. “Time is out for empty words and empty promises,” the reverend said, as he called for lasting change. For equality. For justice. The time is now.


Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


TIME. Hope is rising. Not as a wish, but as an action, as a movement toward lasting change.




10 Responses to “8 minutes and 46 seconds”

  1. Susan Ready Says:

    It was a profound reflective moment during the service that impacted many around the world. We remain hopeful Floyd’s death will put in motion some lasting changes for equality.and justice.

  2. Enough is enough and it’s been a long time coming. Praying for peace in our world, and that God moves in the hearts of all men and women no matter their color or race or whatever. I pray there is a change that starts now…the next generation is witnessing what is happening, they are watching the grownups and they are being molded, I pray they are advocates and witnesses for a new love for ALL mankind. Let’s be good role models so that they can see how we can come together in the midst of tragedy. The time is now.

  3. valeriebollinger Says:

    I can imagine the silence for 8 minutes 46 seconds was very powerful.
    Our prayer service this week included reading scripture then a time of silence to reflect…when it came to the time for confession we took 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence.

  4. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Hi Audrey, I saw that portion of the memorial service, too. It was indeed powerful. And the rivers of people marching for change in the middle of a pandemic is stunning. That the entire world caught fire from this particular spark offers such an enormous opportunity to rebuild everything, to do better. Change must happen.

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