AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - It was a memorable moment in Downtown Augusta as family, friends and the Augusta Community said their final goodbyes to opera star Jessye Norman.
"She was just really powerful and inspirational and had a good heart and a good soul,” said Ameila Oswald.
“How when she came into a room, it was as if it opened up,“ said Michelle Lott Walford.
“She is larger than life, a legend, an icon, and she will truly be missed,” said Damien Sineed, service musical director.
The Bell auditorium was filled with grace, compassion, and plenty of love with speeches from Mayor Hardie Davis, State Representative Wayne Howard, and many others sharing their heartfelt words.
“No matter how famous she became, she supported young people in Augusta who had come after her,” said Vernon Jordan, civil rights activist and friend.
With Jessye Norman’s ability to bring people together with her music , beautiful selection pieces were sung to honor the trailblazer performer.
“I was so free and I know it was because she was guiding every single note and my body and my nerves and she was saying it is okay I am here and now you are here,“ said J’Nai Bridges.
Those who went to school with Norman remember her as a woman of purpose and knew she would touch many lives.
“I certainly treasure her career and I am so proud of all that she has done and I am here reading her memoir right now and I am just so filled with admiration," said Judith Ruffin, a close friend of Jessye.
To continue her legacy, in Mayor Hardie Davis’ speech he declared that October 12th will be Jessye Norman day in Augusta.