Mt. Pleasant girl honors Emanuel AME shooting victims through art
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- After a photo of a drawing by a 7-year-old girl of people gathered outside Emanuel AME Church as nine angels hover above is gained a lot of attention on social media, the young artist released several more.The latest depicts the nine angels above the Ravenel Bridge during the Bridge to Peace Unity Chain held Sunday evening.
The drawings started at a quiet Mount Pleasant home with a simple yet difficult question by Madeleine: "Why is the world full of broken people?"Her sister, Emma Kate, also showed her support with a drawing asking people to "Hug one person every day."
Melanie, the mother of the two girls, said while Madeleine asked a lot of questions about what happened Wednesday night, Madeleine's twin sister Emma Kate talked very little about it.
"Why can't the good people teach the bad people to be good?" Madeleine asked her mother, another question that seems simple to a 7-year-old mind but is anything but simple for an adult. "Just because someone is different doesn't mean you have to do something bad to them."
During the conversation, Melanie says her daughter also asked to see a picture of the church where the shooting happened. Madeleine also Googled instructions on how to draw an angel.
Her mother gave Madeleine photos of the nine victims.
"[Madeleine] wanted the Angels to be a good representation," Melanie said.
And it was there, in their quiet home several miles from the site of a devastating act of violence, that Madeleine armed with blank sheets of paper and crayons looked on the faces of the people killed -- Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, and Myra Thompson -- and started to draw.
Mother Emanuel AME Church stands large in the picture, taking up most of the page. Flying above are the nine slain church members, most holding a peace symbol or a heart.
Three have their arms outstretched, seemingly welcoming an embrace.
It's a message that's been repeated often since Wednesday night. From religious leaders to the mayor, from the governor of South Carolina to family members of those killed, the message out of Charleston is that it's time to support each other and help the community heal.
Standing in front of Madeleine's church are more than a dozen people who all look different. A heart is between each person.
Madeleine's currently working on another drawing, this one of a group of dogs sitting in a field of grass.
"Being colorblind is awesome. You should give it a try," is written across the top of the page.
Melanie says her family is active in the community, adding that she and her husband try to teach their two children the importance of kindness.
"I was talking to them about love and forgiveness and hope," Melanie said. "And Madeleine said 'I love the world HOPE for our little project we are doing. What else could it stand for?'"
The man accused of shooting the nine members of Emanuel AME, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, was arrested in North Carolina after a 12-hour multi-state manhunt. During a bond hearing Friday afternoon, bond was set at $1 million for a weapons charge and denied on the nine murder charges.
Family members of the victims spoke to Roof through a closed circuit television, telling him while they are heartbroken at the loss they forgive him.
He is being held in the Al Cannon Detention Center.