CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Organizers of a “Unity Walk” set for Sunday want to pay tribute to the nine parishioners of a Charleston church who were gunned down five years ago this week.
Wednesday marked five years since a self-proclaimed white supremacist killed nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church, including the church’s pastor:
- The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41
- Cynthia Graham Hurd, 54
- Susie Jackson, 87
- Ethel Lance, 70
- Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49
- Tywanza Sanders, 26
- Rev. Daniel Simmons, 74
- Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45
- Myra Thompson, 59
SPECIAL PROGRAM: ‘Remembering the Emanuel 9′
The walk begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Maritime Center on Wharfside Street. It will continue up Calhoun Street to the church, where family members of the victims will speak. Members of the family of Walter Scott, a man who was fatally shot by a former North Charleston police officer during a traffic stop, are also expected to speak. The speakers will address the call for racial justice and equality sweeping the nation.
“In years past, we have observed this day in mourning,” Mother Emanuel AME Pastor Rev. Eric S.C. Manning said. “This year, while we continue to grieve, we must honor the Emanuel Nine by actively promoting anti-racism within our community and by providing a safe space to engage in important conversations.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg mentioned the church shooting Wednesday as he announced that he would submit a resolution to Charleston City Council calling for the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue from Marion Square.
“Fellow Charlestonians, five years ago today, our city endured a most grievous loss, as nine beautiful souls were cruelly stolen from us in a hate-filled spasm of racist violence at Mother Emanuel AME church, just a block from where we now stand,” he said. “But in the days that followed, thanks to amazing Grace and the deep faith of the families of the Emanuel 9 and the extraordinary act of forgiveness that so moved the world, the miracle of grace came upon our city, and set us on the difficult but essential road to racial justice and conciliation.”