Memorial for victim of Emanuel AME church shooting moving ahead

Updated: May. 21, 2019 at 8:18 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A memorial garden to remember the oldest victim of the 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church is moving ahead.

The memorial will honor Susie Jackson, 87, who was killed along with eight others during the shooting. Jackson was known as a very active member of the church that will only sit a block away from the proposed memorial site.

On Tuesday, Charleston County Council approved an agreement with the City of Charleston which will give the city the right to maintain, construct, and design the project, while the county still owns the land.

The “Susie Jackson Freedom Memorial Garden” will be located on a plot of land in the back corner of the Charleston County Library in downtown Charleston at 68 Calhoun Street. It will be facing out to Alexander Street, where Jackson lived for more than 50 years.

Last year, it was previously approved to be a land transfer between the county and city, but there was some complications with county utilities that run through it.

A rendering shows the proposal for the Susie Jackson Memorial Garden
A rendering shows the proposal for the Susie Jackson Memorial Garden

The latest designs have the memorial garden as a circular sidewalk that surrounds a bed of flowers with trees at each corner and a memorial plaque that faces the street. But that design could change, according to Charleston City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie.

The issue has been that because the land wasn’t officially the city’s, they haven’t been able to move forward with fundraising and designs.

Gregorie plans to launch a fundraising effort on June 18, and he hopes the park can open within a year, right before the fifth anniversary of the shooting.

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