CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A garden in Downtown Charleston is honoring a woman who lost her life in the Emanuel AME Church shooting.
The Susie Jackson Freedom Memorial Garden is named after the oldest victim. Susie Jackson was 87 when she and eight other church congregants were shot and killed during a bible study on June 17, 2015.
On Saturday, exactly eight years later, the garden was dedicated to Jackson during a ceremony.
“It’s an amazing thing to have a park named after your mother. It’s something you know will always be here. Something I’m proud of and everything,” said Walter Bernard Jackson, the son of Susie Jackson.
The memorial garden is located nearby Jackson’s home of more than 50 years on Alexander Street. It’s the same spot she used as a short cut to get to church.
Nine Japanese blueberry trees stand tall in the garden, symbolizing the victims. Five noisette roses were planted in honor of the survivors and four olive trees represent the four anchors of peace: freedom, forgiveness, faith, and family.
“It’s reassuring knowing that we’ll always have a place here in Charleston, and I think just coming back and just knowing all of the love and support that we feel,” said Tiana Jackson, one of Jackson’s nine great-grandchildren.
Jackson’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren came back to Charleston this weekend to honor their family’s matriarch.
“Losing her was definitely very hard, but seeing her life and legacy live on really means a lot to all of us,“ Ina Jackson McBean said of her grandmother.
The corner of Chapel and Alexander Streets became known as “Susie Jackson Way” in 2019.