CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - When President Obama arrives in South Carolina's Lowcountry Friday, he will address more than 5,400 at the College of Charleston during the funeral of State Sen. and Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
Long lines and tight security continue as this community continues to move forward.
The place known as Mother Emmanuel is turning into a gathering spot for families and visitors who are downright curious. Well-wishers continue leaving flowers, trinkets, and messages for those in still in mourning.
Members of a tourist group from Atlanta are among those seeking answers.
"It's a sad situation that will bring America together as one," Patricia Evans said.
Community togetherness is the message found on billboards along the local interstates, but pain and disappointment cut so deep coping continues to be a real issue. That's why city leaders announced a plan designed to help those who have are having problems letting go of last week's violence.
"We recognize not only the families and their close friends struggling with this, but it's also impacting our entire community, and many others around the region," Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said at a Thursday press conference. "We pray that you allow everything to be done in peace, and decency and in order."
Along Calhoun Street, prayers of comfort remain constant outside of church. Meanwhile, there are signs of strong government presence in advance of Friday's presidential visit.
Tourists who made Emmanuel AME a destination location are hoping to leave South Carolina with lessons that will last a lifetime.
"We think that Charleston is united has a beautiful attitude and we hope that we can take home the racial unity that you're experiencing here," Milwaukee resident Jennifer Wall said.
It is the kind of Unity that many are expecting long after the presidential visit is over. The goal is finding common ground, and to ease this community's unexpected heart break.