By Lauren Quinlan
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – As Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston marks seven years since the mass shooting that killed nine of its members, church leaders are planning to break ground this fall on a memorial to the victims.
The Rev. Eric Manning, the senior pastor of Mother Emanuel, says they are praying the Emanuel 9 Memorial and survivor’s garden will provide a lasting memory for the Emanuel 9, five survivors and the church, so they will never forget what took place.
The memorial is intended to be a symbol of hope and a place where people can grieve, heal, and share. It will feature two fellowship benches facing each other with high backs that represent sheltering wings. A names basin of the nine lives taken will flow through the center and a cross will follow behind.
Manning says he hopes this will allow people to connect in a new way.