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The historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., has unveiled the design of the Emanuel Nine Memorial that will be a national focal point of congregation and community.
The church also announced a fundraising campaign to help realize the memorial designed by architect Michael Arad.
The Emanuel Nine Memorial reframes the church grounds to create a sacred space of reflection and a garden honoring the victims and survivors of the June 17, 2015 tragedy in which nine members of the church were killed.
“This memorial on the grounds of the church will help keep the memory of the Emanuel Nine alive and honor the resilience of the families, survivors and church members,” said Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel.
The Emanuel Nine Memorial welcomes people of all backgrounds, faiths and walks of life to come together to realize positive change.
This is encouraged through the memorial’s two large fellowship benches that face each other. An opening between these benches widens at the entrance, inviting strangers to enter and join in community. The high backs of the benches arc like sheltering wings or a pair of arms cradling visitors once inside this serene space.
At the center of the stone benches, is a marble fountain inscribed with the names of the Emanuel Nine. Water surfaces through a cross-shaped source, filling the basin and gently spilling over the names that include Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Mrs. Cynthia Graham Hurd, Mrs. Susie J. Jackson, Mrs. Ethel Lee Lance, Rev. DePayne Vontrease Middleton, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, Mr.Tywanza Kibwe Diop Sanders, Rev.Daniel Lee Simmons, Sr., and Mrs. Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson, AME Licentiate.
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