CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Aviation Authority unveiled renderings Thursday of a special section of the Charleston International Airport that will honor and remember the victims and survivors of the Mother Emanuel AME Church shootings.
The plans were presented during the regular meeting of the Charleston County Aviation Authority Board.
The area meant for reflection and contemplation will showcase the community response following the June 17, 2015 event for millions of visitors.
"The memorial will be the first thing people see when they exit the gate area," said Aviation Authority board member Margaret Seidler, who spearheaded the project on the board's behalf. "We want this to be a place of remembrance, a place of inspiration to our visitors, and a place for those that call the Lowcountry home to celebrate this remarkable community."
Planning for the memorial began in late 2015. No construction or opening date has been set. Money to pay for the $175,000 project will be raised through private donations.
A spokesperson with the board said the memorial will be located in the Central Hall across from the Arrivals area.
Among its designs will be two five-foot-high stained glass window panes, showing the Mother Emanuel church and nine white doves. A glass partition, where the stained glass will hang, will separate the memorial from a small seating area where airport visitors can sit and view the space.
In the center of the 400-square-foot space will be a round table enclosed with a Bible open to the Book of Mark, Chapter 4, verses 13-20, which the Bible Study group was reading on the night of the shootings.
"The Charleston County Aviation Authority Board is committed to the creation of a meaningful and lasting memorial to honor the Mother Emanuel AME victims and survivors," said board Chairman Billy Swails.
Swails will lead the fundraising effort. Details on how to donate to the memorial project will be announced at a later date.