Memorial park being built in Marion to honor Charleston church shooting victim

Updated: Oct. 18, 2019 at 7:47 PM EDT
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MARION, SC (WMBF) - A memorial park in Marion is in the works for one of the Charleston church shooting victims.

The site will honor the late senator and pastor Clementa Pinckney. He was one of nine people killed during bible study at the Emanuel A.M.E church in 2015.

The park will sit behind the Marion County Museum on West Godbold Street near downtown. It will have a walking trail, water feature, picnic area and free-standing art.

Sen. Kent Williams, Pinckney’s cousin, is one of the people spearheading the project.

“Giving back and making a society better than what it is, that’s what Clementa Pinckney was all about and we respect him, we appreciate him and so we want to keep that legacy alive,” Williams said.

He said Marion was considered Pinckney’s second home.

Although he was born in Beaufort, Williams said Pinckney’s grandparents and mother were born and raised in Marion. He would visit every summer.

As a request, Pinckney was laid to rest in the Saint James Cemetery next to his mother.

The senator said the park won’t only be for the local community.

“Fourteen million people traveling to Myrtle Beach every year and 80 percent of those people drive and they come right through Marion County,” Williams said. “Hopefully they will want to come and see the history behind the late senator, take in the museum, exhibit and the park.”

Along with an exhibit inside the museum, Williams said they plan to name a street after the late senator.

The project will cost an estimated $2.7 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.

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