CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s the place where Myra Thompson was murdered almost four years ago. But for her husband, Anthony Thompson, Emanuel AME Church stirs happy memories within him.
“It just reminds me of my wife when I come and the things she’s done here and some of the things we’ve done here together. For me, it’s not sadness; for me, it’s a joy,” he said.
Myra Thompson was one of nine people shot and killed by Dylann Roof during a weekly Bible study in 2015.
The church resumed Bible study the following week.
Though the topic of this year’s anniversary Bible study is forgiveness, Emanuel AME’s pastor said the lives of the victims should never slip from memory.
“One of the dreadful sins is the sin of forgetfulness when we forget where we were and what has taken place,” the Rev. Eric Manning said. “Then we are sometimes prone to commit the same atrocities - the same act.”
Following the Bible study, the trunks of 15 cherry trees planted for the victims and survivors located at the Gaillard Center will be lit each evening until the conclusion of the Emanuel 9 commemoration.
The next event scheduled to take place is the Susie Jackson/Ethel Lance Senior Citizens Luncheon at the church. It is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. and is named after two other victims of the shooting.
The list of events marking the grim anniversary continue through June 29.
The shootings took place at the end of a Wednesday night Bible study when Roof opened fire.
The tragedy claimed the lives of the church’s pastor and State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Singleton and Rev. Myra Thompson.