WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The family of Julian Bond [wife Pam Horowitz; sons Horace Mann Bond II, Jeffrey and Michael; daughters, Phyllis Jane Bond McMillan and Julia Louise Bond; sister, Jane; brother, James; and his eight grandchildren] has issued the following statement:
“We realize that many people loved and admired Julian. We understand that at this time of great loss for our family, that many you are feeling your own sense of loss. We also very much understand the need for community closure and an opportunity to celebrate the life of a great husband, father and grandfather, but also a great national treasure and civil rights icon.
“To that end, we would like to provide the following explanation and invitation.
“As all of you are aware, Julian Bond was a man who took strong positions and held fast to the things he believed in. Julian directed all of us, with respect to his desires for his final rites. We are honoring his wishes that his body be cremated and his ashes be committed to the Gulf of Mexico. This will be a private, family only, service.
“This final request will be carried out in a burial at sea on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm, Central Daylight Time.
“Since we fully understand and appreciate that many of you consider Julian to be part of your family and would like to be a part of his official home going, we extend the following invitation. We invite you to gather at a body of water near your home and precisely at 2:00 pm, CDT, spread flower pedals on the water and join us in bidding farewell to Horace Julian Bond. This gesture will mean a great deal to us as a family and also provide some comfort in knowing that you share our loss.
“Finally, as we join together as a family to help each other through this time, we are well aware that there must be a public opportunity for all of Julian’s friends, Civil Rights Colleagues, students and admirers to come together in a memorial celebration of his life to share memories and expressions of love and appreciation. We will announce plans for such a gathering very soon.
“Thank you for sharing Julian with us, and thank you for allowing us to honor his wishes. Thank you.”
Meanwhile, tributes continue to pour in for Bond.
“Julian Bond was a huge hero in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said Phil Wilson, president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “I never had to explain why it was important for him to show up on any of the many occasions I called him for his help. He made sure that HIV/AIDS was front and center on the NAACP’s agenda. He was the first leader to create an AIDS strategy for a national civil rights organization. And when I called him asking him to be photographed and to publicly take an HIV test, he did not hesitate.”
Equally important, Wilson said, “Julian understood probably better than anybody else that injustice is of a whole cloth – you cannot embrace any of it and still call yourself just. The threads are woven throughout. You can’t say that I’m opposed to racism, but I’m okay with sexism; you can’t be anti-misogynistic yet homophobic. Julian spent his entire life fighting for justice. Not just some of the time, in some places, for some people.”