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Emanuel AME announces plans for memorial honoring church shooting victims

(Kaitlyn Taylor / WCIV)

Emanuel AME Church announced plans Saturday for a permanent memorial to the victims and survivors of the mass shooting inside the church during a Bible study two years ago, June 17, 2015.

“This memorial on the grounds of the church will help keep the memory of the Emanuel 9 alive and honor the resilience of the families, survivors and church members,” said Reverend Eric Manning, pastor of Mother Emanuel.

The church has commissioned architect Michael Arad to create the memorial. Arad is best known for designing the National September 11th Memorial in New York.

“Being asked to design this memorial is a humbling and tremendous responsibility,” said Arad. “I will do my utmost to honor the memory of the deceased and give voice to the injured, the grieving families, and the community.”

Rev. Manning says Arad’s design for the Sept. 11th Memorial was a “compelling qualification” for him being chosen to work on the Emanuel AME Memorial.

“Michael Arad’s design for the September 11th Memorial expresses both the devastating loss of life, while also expressing peace, comfort and hope,” said Reverend Manning. “It is our hope that his work on our memorial will evoke the weight of the tragedy as well as send an inspiring mandate for positive change to the world.”

The memorial was funded through a partnership between the church and the Beach Company, and was conceptualized through a committee of local artists, designers and historians.

“The victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting will not be forgotten,” said John Darby, CEO of The Beach Company. “Their families’ and the church’s response to this tragic event has already materially changed the conversation about racism. They put faith and love above hatred, and the message inspired people across the globe. We are here to support their mission working side by side to help facilitate a memorial to promote the eradication of racism.”

Tax-deductible donations to help fund the memorial can be made online. Click HERE to find out how.

Those wishing to donate can also send a check to Emanuel AME Church, made out to the “Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation.” The address is 110 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC 29401.

The church also announced Saturday the start of its capital campaign, established to address much-needed repairs and improvements to the 126-year-old church building.

Donations to the capital campaign can also be mailed to the church, made out to the “Mother Emanuel AMEC Historical Foundation.”

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