(PHOTOS) Prayer vigil for Charleston victims

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt June 28, 2015

Create Community 4 Decatur held a somber ceremony on Saturday evening, June 27, to honor the nine people killed in a shooting in Charleston, S.C.

Dylann Roof is accused of opening fire on the congregation of¬†Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Among the dead are Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator. Roof allegedly set up a website outlining his motivations and people found pictures of him online posing with a¬†Confederate Flag. The incident has led to renewed calls for the flag’s removal from public spaces.

During the June 27 vigil, Rev. Ted Smith suggested that the community should discuss whether a Confederate memorial in the Decatur Square should be moved to the Decatur cemetery. But he cautioned that symbolic gestures like the removal of Confederate flags and monuments won’t give the story of what happened to the nine victims a happy ending.

The crowd gathered in front of the Decatur bandstand, listening for an hour before lighting candles, singing one verse of “Amazing Grace” and quietly dispersing.

Pastor Brady Radford speaks during a June 17 vigil at the Decatur Square.

Pastor Brady Radford speaks during a June 17 vigil at the Decatur Square.

Volunteers hold pictures of the victims of a shooting in Charleston, S.C. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Volunteers hold pictures of the victims of a shooting in Charleston, S.C. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Rev. Victoria Ferguson-Young speaks during a vigil on June 27 in the Decatur Square. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Rev. Victoria Ferguson-Young speaks during a vigil on June 27 in the Decatur Square. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Rev. Ted Smith speaks during a June 27 vigil. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Rev. Ted Smith speaks during a June 27 vigil. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

A couple lights their candles during a vigil in the Decatur Square on June 27. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

A couple lights their candles during a vigil in the Decatur Square on June 27. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Pastor Brady Radford speaks to the crowd gathered for the June 27 vigil. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Pastor Brady Radford speaks to the crowd gathered for the June 27 vigil. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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  • underscorex

    Boy, that sure got out of hand! Why, there was a child sitting on the rebel memorial!

    It’s almost like everyone treated the event with reverence or something.

  • Laurie

    I was there last night and I’m disappointed that the coverage above doesn’t convey the spirit or content of this very moving vigil. There is no mention of the interfaith nature of the event, with Christian, Jewish, and Islamic leaders speaking. The content of the talks and prayers was one of unity and the importance of grieving those lost while also thinking about how Decatur (and communities beyond) might move forward (other than the one specific reference to moving the Confederate monument, which was such a small piece of the event and yet the only thing mentioned above). The reading of each victim’s names while someone stepped forward with their pictures followed by Pastor Radford quoting from King’s eulogy of the 4 girls killed in the Birmingham church was incredibly powerful. There really was so much more to the event than is mentioned above. By the way, I’m in no way connected with CC4D who organized this event and was not familiar with them or their work before the vigil. I just think that readers who weren’t there last night should better understand what took place. Thank you.

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