CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board announced on Monday that Bank of America has given the board a grant of $250,000 for the construction of a permanent memorial honoring the nine people who were killed in 2015 at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church in downtown Charleston.
Plans for the the memorial were revealed in 2018 and were designed by Michael Arad, who also created the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.
“Mother Emanuel AME Church is grateful that the business community is uniting in support of the Memorial Foundation and for Bank of America’s generous commitment to the creation of the Emanuel Nine Memorial,” said Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of the Mother Emanuel AME Church.
The memorial is set to be located near the church in the side parking lot that connects Calhoun Street to the parking spaces behind the church.
“We are honored to support this important memorial dedicated to remembering and honoring the lives and sacrifices of the clergy, church members and of the survivors,” said Mark Munn, Charleston Market President for Bank of America. “Our support aligns with the intention of the memorial itself to be a reflective space to join together in community, as well as to promote unity and resiliency. “
Officials released the following additional information on the design of the memorial:
The memorial design features a courtyard with two fellowship benches facing each other with high backs that arc up and around like sheltering wings. At the center of the courtyard, the curves of the benches encircle a marble fountain where the names of the Emanuel Nine are carved around the fountain’s edge. Water emanates from a cross-shaped source, filling the basin and gently spilling over the names of the nine. The opening between the benches toward the back of the courtyard reveals a cross above a simple altar, providing visitors a quiet place to linger in thought and prayer.
The memorial includes a survivors’ garden, which is accessed by a pathway from the courtyard. Dedicated to life and resiliency, the garden is surrounded by six stone benches and five trees, symbolizing the five survivors – the sixth bench signifying that the church is also a survivor.