CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two months after eleven people were killed in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, survivors of the tragedy sought peace and unity within the walls of Mother Emanuel AME Church.
Members of the Tree of Life Synagogue from Pittsburgh visited the Holy City’s Mother Emanuel AME Church for Sunday service. Survivors from both congregations say they are connected by tragedy and they must stick together.
“It’s been a wonderful experience the love is overwhelming it’s comforting and we are trying to get past what’s happened to us,” Stephen Cohen, President of New Light Congregation, says.
Both congregations say they have one goal, to push unity on those around them.
“What people say creates action,” Cohen says. “When people say hateful things again and again sooner or later someone will do something, that’s what happened in Charleston and in Pittsburgh.”
Members of Mother Emanuel say that their pain still comes in crushing waves.
“I’m not sure its healed, people are better, but it’s a healing process that will take years, some days you just think about it and it brings back the horrible memories,” Willie Glee, a member of the Mother Emanuel congregation, says.
And members of the Tree of Life say they wish they didn’t understand Charleston’s pain so well.
“It’s only 2 months, I’m told grieving takes a year, we aren’t even close to that,” Cohen says.
The two congregations say they are now bound by their horrifying histories, but can find comfort within each other.
“We are all in this together we are not by ourselves when we seek peace and unity we will understand hate has no place in this world,” Eric Manning, the Senior Pastor at Mother Emanuel says.