‘Nine beautiful souls’ remembered on anniversary of church massacre

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Above are the nine shot and killed while attending Bible study at Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.

BY NOAH FEIT
THE STATE/TNS

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that love, not evil, reigns five years after a shooting inside a Charleston church when nine people were killed by a White supremacist.

“Five years ago, we lost nine beautiful souls at Mother Emanuel and our state was shaken by an unspeakable act of hatred and ignorance,” McMaster said Wednesday in a news release. “But evil did not win the day. Love, compassion, strength, and faith — exemplified by the families of the Emanuel 9 — reigned supreme.”

Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Daniel Simmons Sr., Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson and DePayne Middleton-Doctor were shot and killed while attending Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dylann Roof, a self-avowed White supremacist from the Columbia area, was convicted on 33 federal charges and was sentenced to death. Roof, who pleaded guilty to 13 state charges, told FBI agents he was hoping to start a race war on June 17, 2015.

“We must not simply remember the lessons learned that day and, in the days, and weeks which followed,” McMaster said. “We must carry them with us each day, recognizing that although evil and tragedy exist, the unifying effects of grace and love abound and conquer all.”

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