CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Hundreds of people spilled out of Mother Emanuel AME Church early Wednesday, to dedicate the city of Charleston's newest District, Mother Emanuel Way.
The district, which runs along Calhoun Street between Meeting and Concord, honors nine people killed in the June 17 church shooting massacre, also paying tribute to five others who survived. Lining the streets, are white street signs which read, "Mother Emanuel Way Memorial District," along with a large green sign which reads the same, and hangs in front of Mother Emanuel.
City councilman William Dudley Gregorie, also a member of the church, brought the idea before city council, who offered its support with a unanimous vote.
"The Holy City is truly blessed now with this memorial, not only to those that have fallen, but also to the survivors."
The dedication took place in the midst of the South Carolina Annual Conference for the AME Church, also held at Mother Emanuel.
AME Bishop Rev. Richard Franklin Norris was among those to address the crowd, which included city Mayor Joe Riley, Interim Pastor Elder Norvell Goff, and members from AME congregations statewide.
"Every time we walk or ride up and down Mother Emanuel Way, we will remember the nine who made the ultimate sacrifice," Norris said.
"Today is part of the healing process, for me and for others," Riley added.