Survivors recognized, victims remembered at Emanuel 9 memorials - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Survivors recognized, victims remembered at Emanuel 9 memorials

Memorial services were held to not only honor the lives lost, but to show the survivors and families of the victims, we still care, and we will always stand with them. (Source: WMBF News) Memorial services were held to not only honor the lives lost, but to show the survivors and families of the victims, we still care, and we will always stand with them. (Source: WMBF News)
Governor Nikki Haley referred to the survivors as angels on Earth, to help guide us, to take this tragic event, and do something about it: work towards ending gun violence once and for all. (Source: WMBF News) Governor Nikki Haley referred to the survivors as angels on Earth, to help guide us, to take this tragic event, and do something about it: work towards ending gun violence once and for all. (Source: WMBF News)
“Love conquered over hate - amen sister, amen,” Venessa and Ernest Parks opined. “Love conquered over hate - amen sister, amen,” Venessa and Ernest Parks opined.
“It's important to remember these victims because no one know how it feels until it feels to be in their shoes,” Ruth Harrison said. “It's important to remember these victims because no one know how it feels until it feels to be in their shoes,” Ruth Harrison said.
Everyone stopping by the church Friday was thankful to the lives lost, because it is through them, they have more faith, and it's because of them, they want to make the world a better place. (Source: WMBF News) Everyone stopping by the church Friday was thankful to the lives lost, because it is through them, they have more faith, and it's because of them, they want to make the world a better place. (Source: WMBF News)

CHARLESTON, SC (WMBF) - One year ago Friday, a community and a nation were shaken as an armed gunman entered the Emanuel AME church in Charleston and opened fire on a group of parishoners - killing nine people in cold blood.

Today, the victims are remembered as "The Emanuel Nine.” Memorial services were held to not only honor the lives lost, but to show the survivors and families of the victims, we still care, and we will always stand with them.

With memorial services being held throughout the day Friday, some were at the Mother Emanuel AME Church where the shooting took place. At one memorial, three people stood up in a crowd of hundreds to be recognized as survivors of the shooting.

Governor Nikki Haley referred to the survivors as angels on Earth, to help guide us, to take this tragic event, and do something about it: work towards ending gun violence once and for all, and truly believe love will always conquer hate.

Allen Parrott, the Presiding Elder of the Kingstree District said Friday is “more than just a one-year anniversary, and to think about them, but how does it translate into actually making the world a better place? And I think they have done that, but now it's our responsibility to not be lost in the hatred and the negativity - the killing – but to demonstrate it each day by practicing love and forgiveness. It ain't easy, but I think we need to make the effort each day.”

Everyone understands what today marks - the one-year anniversary of the nine lives lost during a bible study, one of the holiest times in one of the holiest of cities. On Friday, the community wanted to let the families and survivors know those lives are far from forgotten.

“I think it gave the families a chance that we still care and we have not forgotten about their loss,” said Janie Fair, who attended one of the memorial services.

One mother in the crowd understands how these families feel first-hand after losing her own son to gun violence.

“It's important to remember these victims because no one know how it feels until it feels to be in their shoes,” Ruth Harrison said. “I myself, a mother, just before Mother’s Day was in their shoes. and everybody forgets about us, but it’s so important to remember the victims because they are going to live with this for a long, long time.”

Just as important as remembrance: forgiveness.

“You’re mad because of the event that happened here, but you’re glad as well because the world has come together to forgive the events that occurred here,” said Ernest Parks, a friend of the Emanuel Nine victims. “The bottom line is that the world is forgiving, we are forgiving, one year later people still feel the passion.”

Forgiveness goes both ways.

“Forgiveness is for you, that God can cleanse your heart and forgive you, and also that He can forgive that person, and let God handle the rest,” Harrison said.

“We still love each other and it's going to be alright,” Fair remarked.

“Love conquered over hate - amen sister, amen,” Venessa and Ernest Parks opined.

At 7 p.m., another service was held in the basement of the Mother Emanuel AME Church where the nine victims prayed with accused shooting Dylan Roof, and accepted him into their world of love and faith.

Everyone stopping by the church Friday was thankful to the lives lost, because it is through them, they have more faith, and it's because of them, they want to make the world a better place. 

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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