My wife and I had an opportunity to pay our respects
at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last week. We were on a motorcycle trip from Milwaukee to Tennessee, and felt a need to ride further to bring our thoughts and prayers to this beautiful church and community.
In visiting the memorial outside, I was moved by the abundance of flowers and special handwritten notes left at the church’s entrance. People signed the fire hydrant and even signed the small trees out front—with permanent markers made available to anyone who wished to inscribe a message.
I was moved by the large number of people of all colors and creeds who were there to show their support. I was moved by the poster that had two fists joining and the words “One Love—One Skin.”
The scene was quiet and respectful and it was nice to see people come together to support good over evil. The experience made me feel that in spite of the horrors that humans inflict upon one another, there is hope when people unite to turn pain into peace.
Many people said they liked the One Love—One Skin poster.
Visitors tied mementos to the trees.
And left flowers, flags, crosses, balloons, and candles to remind us that every person matters.
How do you feel about the tragedy in Charleston? What should we do to stop things like this from happening?
Marvin Mason is a senior executive with CPI who admires those who help and serve the vulnerable in our society.