I was walking home from a work function Wednesday evening when Danielle called and said there had been a shooting. This was when the story first broke and the details of the tragedy were slowly leaking out. The shooting occurred in another part of town; however, it was still alarming since I was walking home.
Danielle continued to check her phone for updates that night, but the details seemed to be all over the board. We went to bed that evening knowing that something bad had happened, but did not have a comprehension of the horrific magnitude.
Thursday morning I opened up the Post and Courier on my computer and there it was: 9 people murdered at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Calhoun Street. Suspect still at large.
We didn't know what to think. Something of that magnitude is hard to fathom and there are no words that will do it justice. I had an empty feeling in my stomach. How could something like that happen? The families and friends of the victims? The guy is still on the loose? What was going to happen next?
Later that Thursday afternoon the killer was apprehended. This provided a sense of relief, however our community was just beginning to process the magnitude of what had taken place.
Following the aftermath of this event, the people of Charleston have banded together and provided each other with love, support and strength.
At the base of the church, people have been gathering and slowly building a memorial.
At 10am on Sunday all of the church bells in Charleston rang and a large prayer and worship gathering occurred in Marion Square.
It has been beautiful. A beautiful display of love, perseverance, unity and community.
To see this reaction has made me proud to be a Charlestonian.
The families of the victims need our support. Please help them by making a donation to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.
Steve Ramos, AIA, LEED AP