Plans revealed Thursday for a memorial in the Charleston International Airport to remember the victims of the Emanuel AME church shooting. It will be inside of a room built during the recent construction and meant to be for extra seating, but now it will transform into a Mother Emanuel memorial and will be the first thing people see as they leave the terminal to enter the Holy City. In the center, two large stained glass panels depicting the church and nine white doves.
Margaret Seidler, a board member of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, says, “The company we’re using that’s designed these panels is the company that also did the stained glass for the recent elevator project at Mother Emanuel. He knows them, he knows the stained glass work, so it is definitely going to be bringing Mother Emanuel into this place.”
To one side, a round table with a Bible turned to Mark, chapter four, verses 13-20, the passage the group was studying the evening of June 17th.
Seidler says, “We are also so excited to announce that Dan Zeller, the photographer for Southern Living magazine, has gifted us his photographs that appeared last August in a special section honoring Charleston, honoring Mother Emanuel, and what happened here.”
The memorial is estimated to cost $175,000 and right now, the airport is working to figure out if that money will be provided by private donors or airport funds. Any airport funds used come from revenue generated at the airport, not taxpayer dollars.
Seidler says, “We feel like we are one of the gateways to the world and that this is where people from everywhere come through. And we want them to realize who we are as a people, and how proud we are of how we responded in the wake of something that was so horrific.”
The board says throughout the process they have gotten input from the survivors of the shooting. They hope the memorial will be open by early fall 2016.