President Obama on Friday (June 26) delivered a stirring eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pickney the pastor of the Charleston South Carolina AME (Mother Emanuel ) Church who was killed on June 17.
As he had done on similar occasions in the past the president sought to both comfort and assure the families of gun violence, and the nation as a whole.
“To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief,” the president told several thousand mourners who packed the church as well as outside its immediate vicinity. He traced the life of Rev. Pickney – one of nine African American killed by a white male as they participated in Bible study at the at the famed church. Obama, who drew several standing ovations from the congregation, touched on race issues, gun violence, and the controversy which has erupted over the confederate Flag, since the killings.”It’s true that a flag did not cause these murders, but we recognize that it represents more than ancestoral history, “he said. “For too long,” he continued, “we have been blind to the pain it has caused.” The president spoke about the history of the black church with specific reference to Mother Emanuel – in America. Towards the end of his address the president surprised those in the church and millions watching on Television when he led mourners in singing “Amazing Grace.” Friday’s funeral service was also attended by first lady Michelle Obama, Vice president Joe Biden and his wife Dr.Jill Biden.