CHARLESTON, SC – Allen A.M.E. Church in Tacoma Washington dedicated a memorial to the Mother Emanuel victims and survivors, and two of the shooting’s survivors attended the ceremony. The two churches are over 2,900 miles apart, but pastors at both churches say they are connected.
After bible study Wednesday night, News 2 showed the memorial in Washington to Rev. Dr. Betty Clark of Mother Emanuel, and she said it’s a fitting tribute for the victims and the survivors.
It’s been just over eight months since Dylann Roof opened fire on parishioners during bible study. The tragedy impacted A.M.E. churches across the country.
Allen A.M.E. Pastor, Anthony Steele, enlisted the help of Seattle’s “Museum of Glass” to create a memorial title “Forgive” at his church in Tacoma, Washington. The artwork features nine glass teardrops with each bearing the names of each Mother Emanuel victim, and three glass hearts for the survivors. Underneath the teardrops are glass ripples, reflecting just how far the tragedy reached.
This past Saturday, Allen A.M.E. unveiled the memorial to the public and Mother Emanuel survivors Polly Sheppard and Felicia Sanders, who were in attendance.
Felicia Sanders told the crowd at Allen A.M.E., “On June 17th I lost my aunt, my son, and a cousin.”
Wednesday night after Mother Emanuel bible study, News 2 reporters showed pictures and video of the artwork to the pastor and a minister at Mother Emanuel to see what they thought of the tribute. Mother Emanuel Pastor, Rev. Dr. Betty Clark, said, “There is no distance and so the love that they have for us in Tacoma, we feel it here in Charleston.” Rev. Dr. Brenda Nelson said, “It just helps us to know that the lives that were lost here in this basement…it wasn’t in vain and life continues to go on.”
To see more about the memorial from our sister station, KING-TV, click here.