Amazing Grace Park honors legacy of late SC senator prior to grand opening

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A reverend, a leader, a father, and a friend.

That’s how many remember former state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who spent much of his life growing up in the Pee Dee.

He and eight others lost their lives a little over six years ago in a deadly attack at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

All these years later, Pinckney’s legacy will now live forever in a place that helped make him who he was

The finishing touches were being added to the new Amazing Grace Park in Marion on Friday, ahead of its grand opening Saturday morning.

This park will soon be full of families and children, and each person who walks through it can learn about the man it honors.

“One of my favorite musicals is Hamilton, it says ’Legacy, what is a legacy?’ It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see, this park is the garden,” said Eliana Pinckney, the late senator’s daughter. “My father created the legacy.”

Marion was Pinckney’s second home. He spent much of his there growing up and was buried there after his death

Gov. Henry McMaster sat with the late senator’s family at the park’s dedication ceremony Friday morning.

He and state Sen. Gerald Malloy, and Sen. Kent Williams each spoke about Pinckney’s powerful speeches at the Statehouse.

They spoke about the God-fearing family man who could make any congregation rise to their feet. The governor also said the state is what it is, because of people like Pinckney.

“South Carolina is better and stronger than we were yesterday, because of the spirit we see today,” said McMaster.

The park includes nine streams from its fountain, representing each of the victims in the Mother Emanuel shooting. A bust of Pinckney was also revealed at the park, surrounded by statues of angels’ wings.

A grand opening celebration for the park is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.

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