Loved ones and community members remember the life of the Emanuel 9

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) On June 15, 2015, a white supremacist walked into a bible study at Emanuel AME church. He sat with the parishioners through the lesson – before opening fire, killing nine people. Monday marks the 9th anniversary of the shooting, and nine years later, the congregation held events to remember those nine victims.

Family members of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Myra Thompson, and Daniel Simmons were there to honor those lost—the survivors of the shooting and making sure the legacy of their loved one’s lives on. 

“We continue to remember and honor them and pray for the families. We ask for continued prayers for our family as well as the other eight families that were impacted in our church family as we continue to move forward to live out their legacy and just continue to honor and remember them,” said Jamila Gadsden, the niece of victim Myra Thompson.

The tragedy shook the holy city and left a mark on the church, the survivors, and the community. Still, after the shooting, people came together to support those impacted, a lesson in unity that leaders say they hope carries through today. 

“You know it’s a tragedy, especially in a holy place. So it’s essential to come to pay your respects on the anniversary of such a horrific event. Still, the event was an example of how our community can come together in the face of tragedy and move forward positively,” said Charleston City Mayor William Cogswell.

Officials said they plan to have a memorial dedicated to the victims whose lives were lost finished by this same time next year.

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Author: Dalilah James