CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – We are remembering a night six years ago that Charleston and the nation will never forget after a gunman opened fire during a bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church, taking the lives of nine parishioners.
On the 6th anniversary survivors and family members of those lost held an online forum to discuss the topic of forgiveness
Anthony thompason’s wife — Reverend Myra Thompson — was among those killed in the shooting.
He says he has found peace through something he never thought he could do: forgive the man who took so much from him and showed no remorse.
“During the night of the tragedy, I mean I was literally right here where we are standing at right now. You know, literally crying in the street. All my thoughts was about Myra, what happened, why wasn’t I there, these types of things. So Dylann [Roof] was not really on my mind. God intervened, he told me to get up off that ground.”
Thompson says while he’s forgiven, he will never forget—and asks the public to help keep the memories of those lost alive.
Chris Singleton lost his mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Now, he has turned his loss into purpose:
“My overall mission is to get people to unite and not judge somebody on the things they can’t control. Like their first language, like their skin color, so many other things and so that’s my hope for us going forward.”
Rev. Eric Manning, the Senior Pastor at Mother Emanuel, says while everyone will always be touched by the past, they are looking forward to the future:
“We are not necessarily in a better place, but we are getting there.”