CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Dozens gathered at Emanuel AME Church this evening for a vigil on the 5 year anniversary of the Mother Emanuel Shooting. Charleston leaders spoke about the horrific night that they will never forget.
The crowd waited for the clock to strike 9:00 P.M. It was around this time 5 years ago that 9 lives were taken; changing the community forever.
“It all just hits you. How much of an impact this event had on the community,” says Persephone Posada.
As the church bell rang 9 times, Pastor Thomas Dixon announced each of the victims names. A moment of silence followed as emotion lingered in the air.
“The calm that fell over us as the speakers were speaking made you feel like you were living their story,” says Posada.
The group spoke, prayed, and cried in honor of the victims and survivors. It was a moment of unity while remembering the pain from that horrific day.
Moving forward, Charleston leaders say that Emanuel 9 continues to serve as a reminder for much needed gun violence reform and addressing systematic racism. They hope this pain can be used a fuel for making those changes happen.